Related Topics: Menopause, World Menopause Month

Secrets for a Trouble-free Menopause

In the first of a series of articles on menopause Patrick Holford, a leading light in new approaches to health and nutrition, author and founder of The Institute for Optimum Nutrition, addresses how to have healthy bones.

Patrick Holford
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Get moving on the menopause

The menopause should occur gradually, allowing the body to adapt to the changes with ease. But, for many women, it is not the fear of osteoporosis, breast cancer or heart disease that most concerns them but how to cope with the debilitating symptoms that affect their daily lives – hot flushes, vaginal dryness, joint pains, fatigue, headaches, irritability, insomnia, depression and a decreased sex drive. The degree to which a woman experiences any or all of these symptoms in highly dependent on how good your nutrition is. If you do all the right things you don’t have to suffer at all.

The two main forms of exercise that boost the health of your bones and increase bone mass are weight-bearing exercise and resistance exercise. Note that the recommendations here are for both younger people and women in the menopause, as prevention is vital.

A weight-bearing exercise is one where bones and muscles work against the force of gravity. This is any exercise in which your feet and legs carry your weight. Examples are walking, jogging, dancing and climbing stairs.

Resistance exercise involves moving your body weight or objects to create resistance. This type of exercise uses the body areas individually, which also strengthens the bone in that particular area.

For women before the menopause

You can either do all the following suggestions or a combination of them based on your level of fitness:

  • Jumping or skipping on the spot (50 jumps daily)
  • Jogging or walking for 30 minutes (5 to 7 days per week)
  • Resistance weight training (2 to 3 days per week)
  • High impact circuit or aerobic style class (1 to 2 times per week).

For post-menopausal women (and men over 50)

You can either do all of the following suggestions or a combination of them based on your level of fitness:

  • Weight training (1 set of 8 to 12 repetitions using maximum effort. If 12 can be reached on a regular basis then the weight is slightly too light)
  • Jogging/walking for 10 to 20 minutes (5 to 7 days per week)
  • Stair climbing (10 flights of 10 steps per day)
  • Exercise classes such as yoga or aqua aerobics (1 to 2 per week).

While you can try any of these recommendations individually, a combination of all these herbs, nutrients, diet and lifestyle suggestions will yield the best results.


For further information on Patrick Holford and his work please visit for details of his books, including the new Say No to Cancer and his upcoming tour in the UK and Ireland on cancer, infections and allergies.

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Please feel free to discuss this article in the comments section below, but note that the author cannot respond to queries made there.
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