Nearly all adults over the age of 60 have dealt with or are currently battling bone density loss. Your bones age just the same as the rest of your body and, as time goes by, the natural loss of bone material far exceeds the rate of new cell production.
Bones that are broken down are not being replenished as they once were, and can become brittle and fragile. This can lead to fractures from many things including falls, or even minimal movement like a violent sneeze. Doing the wrong type of exercises, or performing exercises incorrectly, can exacerbate these effects.
Osteoporosis can affect both men and women, however, women who are postmenopausal make up the largest group that suffer from this condition. Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease, but can be managed with a proper treatment programme, and even delayed with the use of a strict diet and exercise regime.
Women over 50 should be cautious and proactive when dealing with bone density loss. Visit your medical doctor and get a dexa scan to measure where you are with your bone loss and devise a plan of action to keep you moving longer. Exercise can play an important role in maintaining stronger bones, a more reliable and tough core strength and your overall health ratings.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the types of exercise that can help you fight the onset of osteoporosis.
Weight Bearing Exercise
This is the most important aspect of keeping osteoporosis at bay. Weight bearing refers to any physical activity that requires you to be supported by your lower limbs (aka legs and feet). Walking and hiking are excellent ways to get your exercise. Only 30 minutes 3-4 times a week can drastically improve your chances of avoiding health issues caused by osteoporosis. For older adults, a routine of different low impact workouts is the best way to keep your overall fitness in check.
These are any kind of activity that has you working against a set weight. While you are strengthening your muscles and core, you will be gaining/maintaining valuable density in your bones. Physical activity and the release of healthy chemicals and hormones in the body can help increase the rate of bone replacement.
Using resistance bands and free weights can help you reduce the risk of accidents and fractures. Water aerobics or just straightforward swimming are excellent activities that make use of the water itself as a source of resistance. Pilates is also a fantastic resistance-style workout that can be added to a low impact workout. Staying active and adding resistance training to your regular schedule can help you strengthen your whole body and keep your bone production going at a manageable rate.
One of the first signs of your body getting older is the loss of natural flexibility. Muscles and joints tend to become less mobile and lubricated the more idle your lifestyle becomes. Keeping your joints and tendons limber can reduce the risk of falls and fracture accidents. With flexibility and increased strength you will also notice an increase in your natural balance. Yoga, Tai Chi and regular stretching on a daily basis can keep your whole body in top working shape.