Living Healthy With Stronger Denser Bones

There are 206 bones in our adult bodies all of which have important roles. These bones form a rigid support structure that protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells, store minerals and also with the aid of our muscles allow us to move and function daily.

So as you can see our Bones are extremely important and if we don’t look after them with age they can become weak, brittle and fracture. Two of the most important factors for optimum bone health are the correct nutrition and load bearing exercise.

Steve has written about the importance of good nutrition just recently but in case you missed them, the articles are here and here.

Load bearing exercise is very important for optimum bone health as it strengthens bones and aids in the formation of new bone. New bone is formed when a mechanical load or strain is placed upon the body, which causes an electrical impulse to signal new bone forming cells called Osteoblasts. The Osteoblasts migrate to the stressed area and begin the process of laying down new bone. The old and weak bone is broken down and reabsorbed by Osteoclasts. These bone cells also manufacture and secrete proteins, mainly collagen which is laid down to increase bone strength and density in that area.

This chain of events happens when injury has occurred and in the everyday process of remodelling. Remodelling is the turnover of new bone being created and old bone being replaced with little change in shape. Approximately 10% of the skeletal mass of an adult is replaced every year through remodelling.

Load Bearing Exercise is a very important tool for preventing osteoporosis naturally and can help in managing osteoporosis. All of our workouts contain load bearing exercises( strength training) that are fantastic for improving bone density and creating stronger bones.

Strength training exercises such as those contained in our workouts have an added benefit of improving our muscle strength and mass. So not only does strength training aid new bone formation but it also helps protect our bones with increased muscle mass, strength training is win win! You can check out our beginners workouts here and for the more experienced you can try our intermediate or advanced workouts.

Did you know as we age we lose our muscle mass, our bones protection.

"We lose so much muscle as we age that by the time we're 70, we only have about 50% to 55% of our muscle mass left," says Beatrice Edwards, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine and director of the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

For the best bang for your buck, multi joint load bearing exercises like Squats, lunges, Press Ups and Pull ups are awesome, but it is also optimum to include impact exercises (where medically possible) like Squat Jumps, Squat thrusts, Burpees, Running, Jumping and bounding.

Here are some other forms of load bearing exercise that can help in preventing osteoporosis naturally and increase bone strength and density:

  • Strength Training
  • Running, Jogging, Walking
  • Playing Sports: Tennis, Football, Hockey, Netball, Basketball, Martial Arts
  • Jump Rope (Skipping)
  • Bounding
  • Climbing Stairs
  • Hiking
  • Dancing.

So as you can see it is very important to keep yourself active and if you are concerned about being healthy, preventing osteoporosis naturally, managing osteoporosis or as part of your weight loss programme then you really should include some kind of strength training or load bearing exercise.

"It is an accepted fact in the field of orthopedics that resistance training serves as the core of any successful, healthy conditioning program. This is true for people of all ages, from adolescents to senior citizens. Enhanced strength through resistance training helps to stabilize and protect the body’s joints. This not only prevents injury, but improves performance. It has the added benefit of reducing stress on arthritic joints in the older population, which results in reduced symptoms and increased function. And for overall health, the lean muscle it generates plays a vital role in metabolizing and “burning” excess body fat." (Excerpt by Fulton C. Kornack, MD., Clinical Faculty in Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School)

 

Living Healthy, leaner with stronger healthier bones.

 

Ben

 

 

http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/bonehealth/conditioninfo/Pages/activity.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/living-with-osteoporosis-7/weight-training

 

 

 

 

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