Strength Training for Bone Health and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder where your bone mass and density decreases, leading to a higher risk of fracture. Unfortunately, it’s a common problem for many Aussies. In fact, nearly 1 million of the population have been diagnosed or are at high risk.
The good news is that strength training (where your muscles work against a weight or force) can help with the treatment and management of osteoporosis and keep your bones strong and healthy.
Factors that affect your bone health
Some of the risk factors that you can’t control when it comes to you bone health are:
- Hormones & Menopause
- Ageing – reduced hormone levels
- Previous Fractures
- Some cancers, and cancer treatments
- Some medications (Consult your GP or pharmacist)
However, the good news is there are factors that you can modify to help improve your bone health, such as:
- Changing up your lifestyle, especially if it’s a little sedentary
- Doing regular exercise that includes strength training
- Increasing your Calcium and Vitamin D intake
- Reducing, or stopping, smoking and drinking alcohol
Luckily, these are factors you can change today! And when it comes turning a new leaf in your lifestyle and exercise, we’re here to help!.
So, how can exercise help?
Strength and impact training has been scientifically proven to help in the treatment and management of osteoporosis. The right type of exercise can slow the decline of bone density as we age, and in some long-term exercise studies, bone strength was shown to increase.
When we perform a certain type of exercise, it causes a strain on the bone. Finding the right amount of strain will cause a protective effect on its structure. If there is too little strain, which is common in a sedentary lifestyle, the bone structure will slowly decline.
So, unless we are working in a labour-intensive job where we are on our feet all day lifting and carrying heavy things, we need to include structured exercise as part of our weekly routine.
The best type of exercise for bone strength
Strength training or lifting and carrying heavy things (Molly’s favourite!) is the best type of exercise for the right amount of stress on our bones.
Unfortunately, this is also the type of exercise that women do the least – yet its women who are the most at risk after menopause. So come on women – don’t be afraid to get strong. Gyms have changed a lot over the years and there are some brilliant personal trainers available who can help you feel comfortable training with weights.
Other types of good exercises are impact exercises, such as running, jumping, skipping, and balance exercises.
FUN FACT: Did you know rhythmic stomping each day can help?! Yes, there is a bit more to this (feel free to ask us) but how cool is it that this can be a great building block to stronger bones?!
Get in touch and get strong!
Molly takes patients through regular 1-on-1 exercise scientist sessions and can set you up with a Home Exercise Program to complement this.
Stay strong everyone!