1, 2, 3 Lift = Strong Bones
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that results in fractures, crippling pain and hunched posture. It affects 1 in 4 women over age 50 and 1 in 8 men over age 50.
Osteoporosis turns the sturdy latticework of bone into a fragile lace that breaks easily during simple activity. Osteoporosis, which means “porous bones,” causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses like bending over or coughing can cause a fracture.
Our bone is constantly changing – new bone is being made and old bone is reabsorbed. You reach your peak bone mass at around age 30. How likely you are to develop osteoporosis depends on ow much bone mass you attained in your 20’s and 30’s and how rapidly you lose it later.
Risk factors for osteoporosis that you can change are:
- Low calcium intake.
- Tobacco use.
- Eating disorders.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Excessive alcohol consumption.
- Corticosteroid medications. Long-term use of corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, cortisone, prednisolone and dexamethasone, is damaging to bone.
Exercise can help build strong bones and slow bone loss. We do know that the best forms of exercise to help prevent osteoporosis are those that improve muscular strength, balance and coordination. The skeleton responds better to weight bearing exercises such as walking and lifting weights than aerobic activity without weight bearing (swimming).
Resistance exercise done with weights is of the best benefit to bones. The skeleton must be stressed with loads that it would not normally experience. The increased load (weight lifting) will put added stress on the muscles. The muscles respond to this stress by getting stronger. Through their attachments to bones, they will exert force on the bone and the bones will respond by increasing their mass.
Combine strength training exercises with weight-bearing exercises. Strength training helps strengthen muscles and bones in your arms and upper spine, and weight-bearing exercises — such as walking, jogging, running, stair climbing, skipping rope, skiing and impact-producing sports — mainly affect the bones in your legs, hips and lower spine.
Swimming and water aerobics have many benefits, but they don’t have the impact your bones need to slow mineral loss.
Osteoporosis is a preventable disease. Even if you are already diagnosed with early signs of osteoporosis (osteopenia), you can continue to build strong bone. Exercise has its benefits at any age.
Till next time,
“Monitoring, Mentoring, Motivation