Osteoporosis Prevention by Strength Training
As we age, one of the most serious health concerns is osteoporosis, a disease which can lead to bones becoming weak and brittle, and unfortunatly more susceptible to fracture.
Older individuals are susceptible to getting osteoporosis due to the nature of human bones as they age. Bone, although it appears dead, is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis basically occurs when the creation of new bone can’t keep up with the removal of old bone.
Orthopedic specialists note that the condition can be prevented or corrected with vigorous exercise, including running or resistance training.
One of the best methods to maintain current bone density is through physical activity. Activity increases the physical stresses on bone which helps to activate the osteoblasts causing bone deposition. Resistance training is one such physical activity that is being advocated as a means of retaining and possibly even increasing bone density.
Here are three exercises that are particularly helpful for increasing bone density in the hips and spine:
- Squats – Squats can be done in many ways, from holding a dumbbell in front of your chest (Goblet Squat), to using an exercise ball against a wall, to doing a traditional barbell back squat.
- Lunges – Forward lunges, side lunges, reverse lunges, and other types of lunges that require you to engage your hip and leg muscles while balancing on one leg can help improve bone density, especially when weight is added. You can add weight by using a barbell or dumbbells.
- Step Ups – Like a lunge, a step up requires a single leg to push your body weight in the air. You can use a bench, a chair, or a stepper you may find in the gym. You can adjust the height of the platform you are stepping on to and the weight you are carrying.
Resistance training is an excellent way to keep our bodies strong and healthy. The benefits to muscle mass, strength, and cardiovascular health are thoroughly researched and supported. Keeping our bones strong and in good shape is essential for healthy aging.
If you would like to know more, contact us for exercise plans that support bone health.