Osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of ageing; it is preventable. So it is vital that all of us, of all ages, start taking care of our bones now. Osteoporosis is a disease where the density of one’s bones is decreased and the structural integrity of bone is impaired. This disease can be very generalized, involving major portions of the axial (head, trunk, vertebrae) skeleton, or regional, involving one segment of the appendicular (limbs, chest cavity) skeleton. Resistance training is vital when trying to improve or maintain optimal bone mineral density.
Osteoporosis becomes more prevalent in postmenopausal women and the general population above the age of 60. This occurs because of an estrogen deficiency in women. In the general population, bones are constantly being regenerated; we lose old bone and make new bone constantly. As we age, the old bone is being reabsorbed faster than the new bone is being made. Most people don’t even realize they have osteoporosis until they fracture a bone, which only makes it harder to come back from. The earlier you start an exercise program that incorporates resistance training, the better. Resistance training applies the “progressive overload” principle. This principle means that when you place a greater than normal demand on the exercising musculature it will help increase bone mass.
Some of the best strength exercises to incorporate in an exercise program include multi-joint movements that involve large muscles or multiple muscle groups. Exercises to increase bone mineral density should include; squats, push-ups, pull-down variations, posterior chain exercises and core exercises. Modifications can be mode for everyone, which is the beauty of the fitness industry. As a trainer, I would never ask someone with bone or joint problems to start out with a load-bearing exercise that puts too much stress on their bones or joints. Modified push-ups, modified squats, modified pull-ups or lat pull-downs, planks, glute (butt) exercises are all adaptable for each specific individual.
If you are interested in learning more about how strength/resistance training can improve your bone mineral density and prevent osteoporosis start a program today and contact one of our personal trainers to get started.
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