Now that Iím at the age where osteoporosis is one of my concerns, I was told about strength training to strengthen my bones. Does it work? (Barbara, Oceanside)
Yes, exercise especially weight-bearing exercises using your hips, legs and spine have been proven to prevent and even reverse bone loss. To build bone density you need to add weight, overload the body and then adapt; repeat the process. The skeletal frame is strengthened inside out. Working your muscles also works your joints and maintains flexibility to keep your foundation strong and youthful. While swimming is a wonderful exercise and recommended for those of you suffering from painful arthritis and other conditions, it will not build bone mass Ė you need gravity for that.
Donít forget to supplement strength training with a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D and minerals.
Tip:It is important to keep in mind that Rome wasnít built in a day. You can begin strength training by using your bodyís own resistance when doing squats, lunges and pushups; then gradually add weight bearing exercises, executing movements slowly and controlled. Take a couple of lessons from a trainer to learn how to do it right.
Hint: Get your teens involved in strength training to build bone mass for their future health savings account. Research points out that preventing osteoporosis begins during adolescence.
Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on www.turnonyourinnerlight.com/page3.html