Bones play an essential part in the body. The bones make up the skeleton, which gives form to your body and helps you to move. It also protects the vital organs from trauma. Bones are also home to the bone marrow, which is responsible for the production of red and white blood cells, and stores minerals, such as calcium. Therefore, you should invest in taking care of your bones by eating a healthy diet and doing regular exercises for bone strength and mobility.
Keeping your bones strong is important for your overall wellbeing. Strong bones provide balance, strength, and help to support your body. Furthermore, strong bones also improve posture that makes your appearance better.
As you age, your bones become weaker and that may affect mobility. Osteoporosis is one of the key conditions that makes your bones weak, brittle, and prone to fractures.
How to Nurture Bone Strength?
Aside from eating healthy and taking supplements that promote bone health, exercise is the best way to keep your bones strong. When you exercise, your bones respond to the force you apply, making them stronger. The way your bones adapt to regular exercise is by building more cells and becoming denser.
When you are young, you exercise to develop strong bones and improve mobility. Once you grow older, you exercise to maintain the strength of your bones to prevent them from getting weak and to maintain your flexibility.
You also need to exercise to better control your balance and coordination. Doing exercises for bone strength and mobility will also reduce the chances of falls and fractures.
Exercises for Bone Strength and Mobility
There are two types of exercises that target help to build strong bones and improve mobility.
1. Weight-bearing exercises
Weight-bearing exercises work against the force of gravity while you are on your feet. This exercise focuses on working your feet and legs, because they carry the most of your body weight. Weight-bearing exercises put more pressure on your muscles and bones, thus, making them stronger.
Weight-bearing exercises include:
- Climbing stairs
- Playing tennis
- Jumping rope
- Tai Chi
Weight-bearing exercises stimulate bone formation and strengthen the bones through the pulling of muscles. It also helps in improving balance and coordination, which helps to prevent falls and bone fractures.
2. Resistance-training exercises
Resistance training is a type of exercise where you force your body to work against resistance. This builds muscle mass and strengthens bones. You can do resistance training by:
- Lifting weights such as dumbbells, barbells, and other weight-lifting equipment
- Using your body weight or strength; push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups
- Using resistance bands
By constantly working with resistance, you can gradually increase bone density as well as strength. Doing these exercises may also prevent you from being at risk of osteoporosis.
When you have osteoporosis, your bones become more porous and fragile. This raises the risk of bone fractures. According to the statistics provided by the International Osteoporosis Foundation, 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 5 men over the age of 50 will experience fractures due to osteoporosis in their lifetime.
Consult your doctor before engaging in any of these exercises if you have osteoporosis or if you are at risk of easily breaking a bone. Establish an exercise plan with a trained professional to know which kind of activity best suits your health.
How to Exercise Safely and Effectively?
Whether you have a normal, healthy body or are suffering from osteoporosis, you need to take precautions before, during, and after engaging in any kind of exercise.
- If you have osteoporosis or have weak bones, it is important to ask your physician if it is safe for you to exercise. Also, consult a professional trainer regarding what exercise routine is best for your condition.
- Listen to your body. If you feel lightheaded or tired, do not proceed with the workout and rest instead.
- Always do warm-ups, stretches, and physical conditioning for at least 10 minutes before any workout. This will prepare your body for more exhausting activities, as well as lessen the chances of muscle soreness and injury.
- When doing any kind of exercise, always observe your form. By simply placing your foot in the wrong direction can lead to some serious injuries. For people with osteoporosis, this tip is important because this will protect you from accidents that may worsen your condition. Being in the right form will also help distribute the stress to the parts of the body.
- Sometimes exercising is just like dancing. You need to find the right beat for you to dance well. In exercise, you need to find the right tempo. Count to set a certain pace for yourself.
- Start easy and increase the intensity of your workout as you get comfortable. When an activity becomes easier for you, then level up the intensity. If you are lifting weights, try to add more kilos to further build muscle mass gains and strengthen your bones.
- Proper breathing is also a must when exercising. Breathing deeply helps regulate your body heat, lowers your blood pressure, helps you to relax, as well as prevents any injuries, especially if you are doing weights.
- Staying hydrated during workouts will also help replenish the water you lose when you sweat. This also helps regulate your body temperature.
- When you have osteoporosis, avoid doing exercises that require you to bend and twist. These movements can cause serious damage to your bones.
- Cool down for about 10 minutes after every workout. Those few minutes help to lower body temperature and blood pressure. It also relaxes your muscles, offering time to recover from stress.
- Give yourself some days off from exercise to let your body recover and relax. Doctors recommend exercising at least three to five times per week.
- Be consistent with your routine. If you are planning to change things up, make sure to do it gradually.
We are not born with strong bones. These are developed slowly as we grow older. It is important to achieve optimum bone health in your youth to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in the future.
If you suffer from osteoporosis or any bone-related conditions, seek professional medical advice first before proceeding doing any exercise.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.