Strength Exercises for Reducing the Symptoms of Menopause
Health LibraryLatest Research in Women's Health
Strength Exercises for Reducing the Symptoms of Menopause

In the quest to find effective non-pharmacological treatments for menopausal symptoms, a systematic review by Ana María Capel-Alcaraz and colleagues stands out, offering fresh insights into the benefits of strength exercises for women navigating the complexities of menopause. Published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine in 2023, this comprehensive analysis delves into the efficacy of strength exercises compared to other interventions and no intervention, highlighting how these exercises affect various menopausal symptoms including bone density, muscle strength, and overall quality of life.

Understanding Menopause and Its Impact

Menopause, marking the end of a woman's reproductive years, brings a plethora of physiological changes due to the cessation of estrogen production. This transition is often accompanied by symptoms like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and increased risks of cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis. Traditionally, hormone therapy has been a go-to solution, but it's fraught with risks such as increased chances of breast cancer and cardiovascular issues.

The Role of Strength Exercises in Alleviating Menopausal Symptoms

Strength exercises, as highlighted in the systematic review by Ana María Capel-Alcaraz et al., emerge as a promising intervention for alleviating menopausal symptoms. This section delves deeper into the specific benefits and mechanisms through which strength training impacts menopausal health, supported by the review's findings.

Muscle and Bone Strength Enhancement

  • Leg and Pelvic Floor Muscle Strength: Strength training specifically targets and enhances the muscle strength of the legs and pelvic floor. These improvements are crucial because they directly contribute to better functional stability and mobility, which can degrade during menopause due to decreased muscle mass and strength. Enhanced pelvic floor strength is particularly beneficial in reducing the prevalence of urinary incontinence, a common issue during the menopausal phase.
  • Bone Density: The loss of bone mass and density is a significant risk during menopause due to reduced estrogen levels, which protect against bone loss. The review found that strength exercises improve bone density, effectively reducing the risk of osteoporosis. This is achieved through the mechanical stress that strength training places on bones, stimulating osteoblastic activity and enhancing bone formation and mineralization.

Improved Physical Function and Metabolic Health

  • Increased Physical Activity Levels: Engaging in regular strength training helps elevate overall physical activity levels, which is vital during menopause when women are more susceptible to weight gain due to hormonal changes. This increase in physical activity not only helps in managing weight but also enhances cardiovascular health and metabolic function, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
  • Metabolic and Hormonal Regulation: Strength training has been shown to positively affect metabolic and hormonal levels, including improvements in insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles. These changes are instrumental in countering the adverse metabolic shifts that often accompany menopause, such as increased abdominal fat and insulin resistance.

Cardiovascular Improvements

  • Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Management: Regular participation in strength training exercises has been associated with better heart rate and blood pressure control. This benefit is particularly important for menopausal women, who face an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases as estrogen levels decline. Strength training enhances cardiovascular efficiency, thereby reducing the strain on the heart and vascular system.

Mechanisms Behind the Benefits

The physiological mechanisms through which strength training exerts its effects during menopause include:

  • Hormonal Adaptations: Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins and other hormones that can mitigate some of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause, such as mood swings and hot flashes.
  • Muscle Hypertrophy and Neuromuscular Improvements: Strength training leads to muscle hypertrophy (growth) and enhances neuromuscular control. This improvement in muscle mass and function can help counteract the natural decline in muscle strength and mass that occurs with aging and hormonal changes during menopause.
  • Improved Thermoregulation: Regular physical activity can help improve the body’s thermoregulatory responses, potentially reducing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes, a primary complaint during menopause.


In conclusion, the systematic review underscores the multifaceted benefits of strength exercises for menopausal women. By enhancing muscle and bone strength, boosting metabolic health, and improving cardiovascular function, strength training not only addresses specific menopausal symptoms but also contributes to broader health and wellness during this pivotal stage of life. As more research continues to affirm these benefits, strength training is poised to become a cornerstone of comprehensive menopausal care.

  • The Efficacy of Strength Exercises for Reducing the Symptoms of Menopause: A Systematic Review; Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2023
1.Understanding Menopause and Its Impact
2.The Role of Strength Exercises in Alleviating Menopausal Symptoms
3.Mechanisms Behind the Benefits