Strong Women, Strong Bones
Author: Shannon Miller
By Howard Allan VanEs
Author of “Ageless Beauty & Timeless Strength”
Imagine for a moment that you sneeze and feel a sharp pain in your side – a rib just cracked.
Or you bend over to pick up something and instead of standing up, you fall over and can’t get up. Or you trip on something, fall and the next year of your life is spent in a nursing home with a broken hip. These scenarios occurring at alarming rates to women throughout the U.S.due to osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones lose their density and strength, often leading to fractures or broken bones in the hips, spine and wrists.
An estimated 12 million people in the U.S.have osteoporosis, of which 80% are women – most post menopause.
Another 34 million have low bone mass putting them at risk. According to The National Osteoporosis Foundation the number who will get the disease is expected to grow 14 million by 2020.
Women can lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass in the five to seven years after menopause, making them more susceptible to osteoporosis.
A key step in minimizing the risk of osteoporosis at any age is engaging in strength training.
Strength training not only builds muscles but builds strong bones as well. During weight bearing exercise, muscles stress the bones which cause them to take in calcium and slow mineral loss resulting in stronger bones. Examples of weight bearing exercises include:
- exercises with machines or weights (barbells and dumbbell),
- body-weight exercises.
Research shows that women who engage in regular strength training exercise can gain anywhere from 1-9% increase in bone density within a year of starting a program, while those who don’t exercise can expect to continue to lose bone mass.
Those diagnosed with osteoporosis should avoid jogging/running, high impact aerobics, and exercises that include flexion such as forward bends or sit-ups.
If you are already including strength training into your fitness program – congratulations and stay with it! If you don’t exercise regularly or don’t include strength training in your routine consider spending 15-30 minutes 3 times a week – you will take a huge step in avoiding the debilitating effects of osteoporosis and improving your longevity!
Howard Allan VanEs is author of Ageless Beauty & Timeless Strength”, agelessbeautybook.com, a book which shows women how they can reduce the risk of most modern diseases by up to 71% through resistance exercise.