Strength training and osteoporosis are two things that we hear a lot about. My goal is to show how strength training can not only prevent osteoporosis, but also increase bone density.
Let’s define strength training. Strength training is an act in which we apply resistance to our muscles. In turn we hope to grow stronger, leaner and healthier.
Osteoporosis is defined as a decrease in bone mass and density causing bones to become fragile and weak.
Perhaps Hippocrates summed up strength training and osteoporosis for us when he said, “that which is used develops, and that which is not used wastes away.” It is in this quote that we begin to truly understand the connection between strength training and osteoporosis.
One of our best defenses against bone loss is exercise. Unfortunately the older we get the less we workout and the less we use our muscles. We tend to spend more time sitting down and less time on the move. This is a natural progression, but this inactive lifestyle can lead to osteoporosis.
Doctors know that strength training and osteoporosis are at two opposite ends of the spectrum. Strength training builds strong bones and osteoporosis is a sign of weak bones.
Strength training has been shown to add bone density. It has been proven to strengthen the muscles and tendons that wrap around the bone as well. A carefully created program can help prevent bone loss.
So What Sort Of Exercises Should I do?
Any exercise that makes our muscles work is the short answer. It could be walking, lifting weights, jogging, or yard work. Just keep your body moving.
How Much Weight Should I lift?
The first thing you should do is seek the advice of a doctor or specialist. They can give you specifics regarding your strength training and osteoporosis workout plan.
They can tell you exactly how your bones are looking. If you get the go ahead to start exercising, then consider what your goals are and move from there.
For example, if you have no signs of osteoporosis then you could probably begin strength training as usual. The only precautions you may need to take are general ones that apply to everyone just starting a strength training program.
However, if you already have osteoporosis then you must take a few more precautions. Positions that require you to bend forward or twist are not advisable. You should also avoid high impact exercises like running or jumping. Click here for more strength training and osteoporosis exercises.
Strength Training and Osteoporosis Wrap Up
Remember what Hippocrates was trying to tell us. If we don’t use it, we’ll lose it. What we do today will be a good indicator of what’s to come. Strength training and osteoporosis may be splashed all over the headlines right now, but that’s because this is a serious matter.
It’s absolutely amazing that we can change our bone density. We can make our bodies stronger and able to withstand certain situations. As we get older we realize that everyday tasks can become a bit more difficult.
Strength training can improve balance, coordination, bone density, lean muscle mass and overall general health. As far as I am concerned cardio, stretching, nutrition and strength training can beat osteoporosis any day!