Stronger bones with exercising
Exercising can promote the strength of the bones. But not every exercise aids this process. So you may be wondering how should you train if you want to make your bones stronger. That’s what we aim to give you an understanding of in today’s article.
Tai Chi takes advantage of slow and graceful moves which promote both strong bones and coordination. Study results published in Physician and Sportsmedicine show that tai chi has the potential to slow down the bone loss in postmenopausal women. The study compared a group of women who did Tai Chi 45 minutes a day, 5 days per week for one year, and women who didn’t do Tai Chi. The results showed that the first group – the Tai Chi one – had up to 3½ times slower one loss than the second group.
Walking is a wonderful way to take care of the health of your bones. A study showed that four hours a week of walking lowers the risk of hip fractures by 41% compared to less than an hour a week of walking. The best option is brisk walking but you can adapt the speed you walk with according to your fitness level.
Study published in the Yoga Journal showed that women who regularly did yoga enjoyed an increase in their spinal bone mineral density. Yoga can build the health of your bones in the spine, hips and wrists – the bones which are more prone to being fractured.
Standing poses work on the large bones in the legs and hips and there are some poses which work on the wrists, shoulders and arms while other ones – like Locust and Cobra – may prevent bone loss in the spine. But yoga also improves your coordination, balance,concentration and body awareness.
No, it doesn’t need to be a ballet. You can try some of the hottest trends in rhumba, swing,tango, foxtrot, salsa or samba. Simply give your hips a shake to get your heart pumping and in the meantime you’ll be building strong bones.
You can also try kickboxing, step or aerobics class. Many of those combine the strength training with step or dance moves and will promote bone health and improve balance and coordination.
The weight-bearing increases the density of the bones – especially of the bones in the hips. If you are going downhill or uphill you can improve the bone health even more. The more impact on the legs and feet, the more bone density.
Also, you can’t get bored while hiking. You’ll be socializing and you’ll meet new people while expanding your horizons.
Strength training includes calisthenics, using weight machines, etc. They are also called resistance training because you work against a certain form of resistance – whether it’s against your body weight, “free” weights or weight machine. Strength training twice a week can stimulate the growth of the bones.
The gyms have trainers which can help you design a specific workout for you which will target your arms, shoulders, back and legs. The specifically tailored for your workouts will be designed accordingly to your fitness level and can promote the health of your bones.
What to remember if you have thin bones or osteoporosis
The risk of fracture is higher than normal for you, so be cautious about exercises which have potential for serious falls – like ice skating, inline skating, downhill skiing, etc.
If your spine has thinning of the bones, don’t do the deep backbends in yoga.
Check with your general practitioner before you start any new training program – especially if you are on meds which slow down your coordination or have effects on your balance.
Also, be patient. The phase of bone building in young adults can take, at its speediest, 3-4 months. If you are older, have thin bones or suffer from osteoporosis, if may take more time for you to thicken your bones. So you cannot see results after 1-2 weeks. But don’t give up – bones may change slowly but they still change.
Exercises for bone strengthening in children and young adults
- Under 5s and not walking – active play, crawling, tummy time
- Under 5s and walking unaided – climbing, jumping, walking, running games
- Children and young adults – running, tramlining, racket sports, ball games, martial arts, body weight exercises, rock climbing, dance-related activities, gymnastics