The Importance of Exercise on Bone Health
Exercise has many beneficial factors on health including reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases (heart attacks, heart diseases), metabolic diseases (diabetes) and more importantly improving bone health. During the aging process throughout an individual's life, bone health can be greatly impacted and progress towards becoming weak and fragile which is known as osteoporosis. This typically occurs during older age and increases the risk of bone damage and fractures. Prior to osteoporosis, the mid-way point between healthy bones and osteoporosis is called osteopenia. It is classified as the bones being weaker than the average healthy bone but not to the point that it would break as easily. Your bones are typically at their strongest and most dense around the age of 30 and would generally start to decline around the age of 50
Exercise is an important form of medication in reducing the rate of bone deterioration. It helps to improve bone strength and keep them dense. Building strong bones = less risk of fractures occurring.
Principles of exercise on bone health:
- Short bursts of high intensity exercise (jogging, jumping, skipping) rather than low impact activities (walking) are proven to be more beneficial for bone stimulation
Progression is essential to continue to improve bone health. Example: lifting heavier weights, adding incline to
- walking or jogging, increase heights of jumping exercises, increasing difficulty of balance exercises all over a period of time
- Lifting heavy weights is greater in improving bone health rather than lifting light weights
- Rapid movements and lifting weights more rapidly (power training) are more stimulating and effective than lifting heavy weights slowly for bone health
- Exercises that require constant changes in direction and jumping at different heights have greater impact on developing bone health compared to repetitive actions
- Exercising in short bouts with rest periods in between suggest to improve bone strength more effectively than continuous, long periods of exercise
Other important factors to consider for improving bone health along with exercise is nutrition. Nutrition plays an integral role in the process of bone remodelling through consuming vitamin C (citrus fruits, strawberries, vegetables), vitamin D (fatty fish, cheese, egg yolks) and protein.
For any questions you may have, feel free to ask your trainer for any additional information!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.