Prevent osteoporosis with training
Ten percent of your bones are renewed every year, with a turnover that replaces old tissue with freshly minted material. But as the years go by, our bone metabolism slows down, so the gradual reabsorption of old bone outpaces production of new bone.
This is the beginning of osteoporosis, the progressive reduction in bone mass that is common after the age of 60-65, and especially among women who, because of menopause, also lose the protective benefits of oestrogen.
There is no magic formula to neutralize it, but fortunately, there are effective ways to fight it.
And the good news is, you can apply them throughout your life, free of charge, without a prescription from the doctor, and with no contraindications: a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, and most important, specific daily physical activity.
Why not focus on prevention?
Get moving with the right exercises
Given that we're talking about fragile bones, it might seem strange, but physical activity is actually one of the most effective natural methods for strengthening your skeleton.
How? Through the mechanical action of muscles and tendons, which, by contracting and pressing on the bones, stimulate the bone cells to produce new tissue.
Physical activity in general, including walking for half an hour a day 3 to 4 times a week or light jogging, is perfect for this purpose. But there are also a few types of exercise that activate this process even better.
As was recently demonstrated in the "Physical Activity Advisory Committee Report (2008)" (US. Department of Health and Human Services), you can multiply the stimulating effect of movement on bones by exercising with weights.
With the right weights for your strength, the pressure that strengthens your muscle causes tension that provides maximum stimulation to mineralize bone tissue.
Here's what you need to remember before planning your healthy bone workouts:
- Check with your doctor or follow the advice of an expert, qualified personal trainer, because certain types of exercises using weights could cause injury if you don't perform them correctly and take the proper precautions.
- Bone strengthening is local, and to strengthen the specific area you have to work on the muscles in the area in question. For example, to strengthen the upper end of your femur, do exercises that involve your hips, such as squats or step exercise; to strengthen the hip, do exercises that involve your glutes, etc.
- The bone strengthening effect linked to physical activity fades if you quit training. To continue to reap the benefits, your workouts must be sufficient and consistent.
Finally, before and after training, always work on maintaining good posture and improving your balance: no matter what condition your bones are in, by limiting slips and falls, you'll reduce your chances of nasty accidental fractures at any age.