Getting older has many advantages. You often become more confident, prioritize what’s genuinely important, and have greater self-awareness.
Your character may become stronger, but your bones do not.
Bones are living tissues that lose mass over time. Lower bone density leaves people vulnerable to bone fractures. Low physical activity can also undermine bone strength.
If you are avoiding exercise and activity because of acute or chronic pain, contact the doctors at ProFysio Physical Therapy. Our services include advanced technologies and techniques to break the pain cycle and return you to an active lifestyle.
Not all exercises are appropriate for you if you have been diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis. Our physical therapists can design an exercise program that is suitable based on the severity of your condition. We always recommend you consult with a doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
Weight-Bearing Exercises for Stronger Bones
Just like muscles respond to exercise, so do bones. Weight-bearing exercises are best to strengthen bones because both muscles and gravity place stress on the bones.
The building and tearing down of bone tissue is called remodeling. Up until about the age of 30, the body rebuilds more bone than it destroys. A person typically reaches mass bone mass around the age of 30. Women begin to lose bone mass around age 50, men about a decade later. We must take action to maintain as much of that bone mass as possible.
Remember, if you have been diagnosed with advanced bone loss (osteopenia or osteoporosis), talk to a doctor about what exercises are safe for you. Also, remember to warm up first with about 5 minutes of walking before you begin exercising.
Exercises that you can do at home without any equipment to fortify your bones include the following:
- Stair Climbing
- Body Squats
- Walking Lunges
- Triceps Dips
- Pushups on the Knees
An effective exercise program for bone health includes 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity, four or more days a week. You can break up the 30 minutes into shorter intervals. Choose an activity that you enjoy. Dancing, walking, and hiking all offer bone-strengthening benefits. Be cautious, however, about trying any exercise with the potential for serious falls, like downhill skiing, ice skating, or inline skating.
Not All Exercises Bolster Bones Equally
When it comes to keeping bone density, certain exercises are less effective. Swimming and elliptical machines don’t provide as much stress on the bones. They are great options for those who cannot do weight-bearing activities. Low-impact exercises still offer cardiovascular and other benefits, so they are still excellent choices to include in your wellness program.
Stretching does not strengthen bones, but it has many other perks. You will increase your flexibility, improve your range of motion, and reduce your risk of injury. A bonus is the mental relaxation it provides.
A Healthy Lifestyle Benefits Bones
Exercise isn’t the only factor to consider when you want to strengthen your bones. Smoking and alcohol can exacerbate bone loss. Some medications, medical conditions, and a poor diet can also affect bone density. Calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K play key roles in bone health. Up your calcium intake naturally by eating broccoli, spinach, almonds, and tofu. Eggs and saltwater fish are good sources of vitamin D. Leafy greens and Brussels sprouts also boast vitamin K.
We Have Answers to Your Bone Density Questions
If you are past the age of peak bone density, talk to one of our physical therapy doctors about effective ways you can mitigate bone loss. We will look at all aspects of your overall health to offer a personalized plan.
At ProFysio Physical Therapy, we offer a free consultation and no referral or prescription is required. We have four convenient locations in New Jersey: Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Edison, and Old Bridge. Schedule your consultation by calling (732) 812-5200.