Mix Fitness's Blog

Exercise and Bone Health

Posted in Uncategorized by mixfitness on July 7, 2009
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Did you know that your peak bone mass occurs at age 25?  After age 25, you start to lose bone cells faster than your body can replace them.  So, if you are the ripe age of 25 or older, keep reading to get tips on how to keep your bones healthy.

Cardio Exercise for Bone Health

Your bones respond to the demands you place on them.  Meaning, they become stronger by stimulating them by weight-lifting and/or vibration.  Certain cardiovascular exercises will deliver an effective amount of vibration needed for bone health.  These include walking, running, tennis, dancing, jumping rope, and step aerobics.  The reason why these exercises are beneficial is your foot must strike the ground which causes vibration in your bones.  While elliptical machines, swimming, cycling (both indoors and out) and water aerobics, are all fantastic forms of exercise, they do little to increase your bone density.  This is because these exercises are not weight-bearing.  Ah, just another reason why variety is key in your exercise programs.

Resistance Exercises for Bone Health

When lifting weights specifically to improve bone health, it’s important to keep your hips and spine in mind.  Osteoporosis occurs mostly around the pelvis and in the spine.  To help prevent this, you must do resistance-based exercises that work those specific areas.  Think squats, lunges, bridges, crunches, and back extensions, aka supermans.  Bicep curls, shoulder presses, and tricep exercises won’t help you strengthen your spine.

Achieving Bone Health

Calcium is an important factor as well when considering bone health.  If you regularly include milk, cheese, and/or yogurt in your diet and perform the above mentioned exercises, you may be able to avoid taking calcium supplements later in life.  As health care gets more and more expensive, just eating right and exercising can save you money!  If you are concerned about your bone health, visit your doctor.  Or, seek out a community bone density screening.  Some fitness centers even offer the screening nowadays.  It’s quick and painless.  And yes, I’ve had it done.  I’m proud to report my bone density was excellent!  Maybe that’s because my mom always made sure I had cereal for breakfast and a glass of milk with dinner.  Or maybe it’s because I run and walk.  Or maybe it’s both:  proof!