Hormones, Resistance Training & Bone Health During Perimenopause + Menopause


Unleash your inner kickass grandmother with Dr. Stephanie Estima as she lifts the veil (and the barbel) on the hormonal secrets of muscle building, bone strength and hormonal health in perimenopause and menopause, untangling the ultimate conflict between aging and strength.

Resistance training has several benefits beyond aesthetics. It can make you a kick-ass, favorite grandmother and great-grandmother, with the strength and mobility to enjoy life in your later years.

Dr. Stephanie Estima

In this episode, you will discover the incredible effects of building muscle on hormones during perimenopause and menopause. Uncover why resistance training is essential for women to prevent falls and hip fractures. Learn about the amazing benefits weightlifting offers for women navigating perimenopause and menopause. Delve into weight loss strategies and factors affecting total energetic expenditure for a healthier lifestyle. Explore the significance of proper nutrition and exercise in maintaining strong bones and muscles during perimenopause.



00:01:32 – Why Lifting Weights is Important,
Dr. Stephanie explains the importance of resistance training beyond aesthetics, particularly for older adults.

00:06:56 – Osteoporosis and Bone Health,
Dr. Stephanie delves into the topic of osteoporosis and how bones change as we age.

00:10:41 – Exponential Decline in Aging,
Dr. Stephanie discusses the exponential decline in aging and how our physical abilities can rapidly degrade if we are not careful.

00:13:32 – Importance of Speed,
Dr. Stephanie emphasizes the importance of maintaining speed as we age, as it is often the first physical ability to decline.

00:15:21 – Importance of Speed and Strength,
Dr. Estima emphasizes the importance of practicing speed and strength to prevent injuries and maintain overall health, especially in later years.

00:17:09 – Benefits of Weightlifting,
Weightlifting not only helps build muscle and improve appearance but also decreases the likelihood of pharmaceutical use in later years.

00:21:17 – Hormonal Changes and Weight Training,
Hormones like testosterone and growth hormone decline in perimenopause and menopause, but regular weightlifting can increase the post-exercise rise in testosterone and help reduce adiposity.

00:23:35 – Newbie Gains and Resistance Training,
Dr. Estima discusses how even those who have never trained before and are in their 40s or 50s can still experience significant progress through resistance training.

00:27:51 – Growth Hormone and Lean Body Mass,
Dr. Estima explains how growth hormone helps improve lean body mass and reduce adiposity, and how weightlifting can increase peak growth hormone secretion.

00:30:22 – What Defines a Tough Workout?,
Dr. Stephanie explains what constitutes a tough workout, stating that it means you are finished afterwards and have done more sets than usual.

00:31:12 – Muscle Growth and Estrogen,
When thinking about growing skeletal muscle, Dr. Stephanie explains that it is regulated by satellite cell activity, gene transcription, and protein translation, which are all influenced by growth hormone.

00:32:36 – Estrogen Levels and Perimenopause,
Dr. Stephanie emphasizes the importance of estrogen in growth hormone production and explains how estrogen levels decrease in women during late perimenopause.

00:39:44 – Cortisol and Exercise,
Dr. Stephanie explains that exercise is an acute stress that can cause acute DNA damage, inflammatory and oxidative stress markers to increase, elevated stress hormones, and other effects.

00:43:17 – Stress vs. Demands,
Dr. Stephanie encourages listeners to view stress as demands and to work on making themselves stronger to rise up

00:44:51 – Weight Loss Strategies,
Dr. Estima discusses weight loss and fat loss strategies, emphasizing the importance of expectation management and finding a restriction method that is easiest for an individual to adhere to over a long term.

00:52:34 – Factors Influencing Caloric Intake,
Dr. Estima explains various factors that influence caloric intake, including appetite, the hormonal status of an individual, the type of food consumed, education, and culture.

00:56:14 – Factors Influencing Caloric Expenditure,
Dr. Estima discusses factors that influence caloric expenditure, including basal metabolic rate, age, dieting history, muscle mass, genetics, exercise frequency, intensity, and duration, and non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).

00:57:42 – Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT),
Dr. Estima explains the concept of NEAT, which is the spontaneous movement an individual engages in over the course of a day, such as fidgeting or toe-tapping.

00:58:16 – Thermal Effect of Food,
Dr. Estima discusses the thermal effect of food, which is the amount of energy required to

00:59:44 – Understanding Caloric Density,
The caloric density of fat is much higher than that of protein and carbohydrates, which means that it is easier to consume more calories from fat than from other macronutrients.

01:01:20 – Muscle Protein Synthesis,
Muscle protein synthesis is a process that happens post-exercise or post-protein consumption, and it can lead to muscle hypertrophy.

01:03:12 – Creatine Monohydrate,
Creatine monohydrate is a supplement that can help with muscle building, muscle performance, and muscle recovery. It is involved in the phosphocreatine system, and it should be taken daily for about a month to saturate muscle stores.

01:04:52 – Necessary Supplements,
While Creatine monohydrate is an important supplement for muscle building, muscle performance, and muscle recovery, other supplements such as Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Omega-3s are important for overall health and wellness.

01:06:03 – Conclusion,
Dr. Stephanie Estima thanks listeners for their time and focus, and encourages them to leave reviews and ratings on iTunes and Spotify.


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I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!