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| Home Organize Your Wellness The Organized Exerciser A Workout a Day Keeps Osteoporosis Away
ExerciseA Workout a Day Keeps Osteoporosis Away
Bone mass and density - as we age, the struggle becomes how to keep it in balance. Osteoporosis is inevitable for most. Learn how exercise, activity, and a healthy diet can help some maintain your bones and overall healthy life.
It happens to everyone in some degree, as we age we lose bone mass. Exercise certainly helps but it does not stop the process. Younger athletes have more bone mass than their older counterparts. There is still evidence that shows staying active gives you a substantial edge in the fight towards keeping bone density. The reality is that inactivity creates muscle weakness which leads to loss of balance and stability as well as coordination and loss of bone mass which leads to falling down, which then leads to immobility from injury and subsequently premature or early death. Is this an exaggeration? Not at all, it is a great reason to get up and start moving now.
Interestingly, the amount of exercise you do as a child is actually more important than the exercise you do in adulthood when it comes to preventing or delaying osteoporosis. The strength of our bones is actually determined by how active we are as children. Studies show that post menopausal women who were physically active from the ages of 14 – 21 were less likely to have decreased bone density than there sedentary counterparts. Also of interest is that exercise, defined as 20 to 40 minutes of daily school or playground play is actually a better way to build the bones than drinking calcium.
Perhaps you never exercised as a child or were not engaged in physical activity enough to make a difference, hope is not lost. You can still create dense bones and add to the diameter of your bones by stressing or doing weight bearing activities. There are two categories of weight bearing activities – weight training or impact exercises. Weight training can be exercises done with machines, dumbbells, or barbells as well as the body’s own weight as in yoga and rock climbing. Impact exercises are running, walking, dancing, and jumping rope to name a few. Be sure when deciding what physical activity is best for you that you consider all parts of the body. For example, a runner has greater bone density in their legs, but not their spine and a weight lifter who focuses on upper body has greater density of the arms and spine but not the hips and legs. It is of interest to note that swimmers have greater bone density loss than other types of impact athletes as swimming does not have impact associated with it.
Some other factors that influence our bones and how susceptible they are to breaks or fractures are:
By Christina Leon, Staff Writer