Hi there! D you want to know about bone density exercises? You have come to the right place. Here in this article, we will be X-raying some exercises that will help you increase your bone density. But first, let us have a quick look at what bone density is. Shall we?
What Is Bone Density?
Bone density, or bone mineral density (BMD), is the amount of bone mineral in the bone tissue. It is measured by a procedure called densitometry, which is often done in radiology departments or in hospitals or nuclear medicine clinics. The measurement is painless and non-invasive and implies low radiation exposure. Measurements are made more frequently in the lumbar spine and in the upper part of the hip.
After puberty, bone growth ends but bone density increases to approximately 30 years. Calcium absorption and retention decreases while calcium loss increases, leaving an estimated requirement at 1000 mg/day.
Bone calcium drainage occurs in all humans at a constant rate, but women have an increased risk of loss. The variability of calcium loss is most easily observed during pregnancy when calcium is taken from the mother’s reserves for deposition in the fetus. In addition, breastfeeding creates a continuing need for additional calcium supplements in women.
While most pregnant women can meet their needs by taking prenatal vitamins, some teenagers cannot understand the need to increase their calcium intake and meet it. The prenatal pill also provides vitamin D supplements during this period, but even non-pregnant men and women must maintain an adequate intake of vitamins.
Furthermore, some treatments for breast cancer can reduce bone mineral density. Although not all treatments for breast cancer reduce bone density. Treatments known to affect bone density include:
- Hormonal treatments, including tamoxifen, Arimidex, Femara, and Aromasin
- Chemotherapy when it triggers menopause in younger women
Checking Your Bone Density
It is a good idea to discuss your bone health with your doctor. It is important to discuss your bone health from the beginning. In fact, most people do not realize that their bone density is low before breaking a bone.
To check your bone density, your doctor may recommend a bone mineral density test, sometimes called a DXA or DEXA test. This test is painless. It measures bone density in the hip and spine using low dose x-rays. This is very different from the bone scanners you may have in the diagnosis or follow-up of breast cancer.
Exercises to Build Bone Density
Here are the best ways to exercise and improve your bone health when you have osteoporosis. Trying out weight-bearing exercises that stress your bones and muscles is a good way of increasing bone density. Talk to your doctor and make sure the training you choose is safe for you. Try these latest trends!
1. Tai Chi
Tai Chi, a form of slow and elegant movement, strengthens coordination and strengthens bones. A study published in Physician and Sportsmedicine found that tai chi can delay bone loss in postmenopausal women. The women, who practiced tai chi 45 minutes a day, five days a week for a year, had a bone loss rate that was up to three and a half times slower than the group without tai chi. Their bone health gains were confirmed by bone mineral density tests.
2. Strength Training
Lifting weights, using weight machines in your gym or doing Calisthenics, are all forms of resistance or strength training. It works against some form of resistance, be it a set of “free” weights, your body weight or weight machines, to cause stress on a sequence of muscles and bones. Strength training is needed at least twice a week to stimulate bone growth.
To take full advantage of a resistance training program, especially for postmenopausal women with a high risk of bone loss, a systematic review article suggests an intensive training program three to five days a week at an intensity of 70 to 90% of the clients repetition maximum (1RM) for two or three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of at least one year duration (Zehnacker and Bemis-Dougherty, 2007).
In addition, each exercise should point to the specific bone sites that you want to improve (Zehnacker and Bemis-Dougherty, 2007, Zhao, Zhao and Xu, 2015). Since the hip, spine, and forearm are the most susceptible to osteoporosis fractures, exercises with a weight that specifically involves the action in these joints or regions should be performed. Suggested exercises to improve these areas include weighted squats, leg pressure, leg extension, hamstring flexion, hip extension, back extension, bench pressure, shoulder pressure, bicep flexion and triceps extension.
Each gym house has a coach or trainer who can design a workout for the legs, back, shoulders and arms, a workout that is right for your fitness level and can improve his bone health.
3. Racket Sports
Tennis, squash, and paddle tennis are exercises that can increase bone density. You put stress on your racket arm, wrist, and shoulder every time you hit the ball, and work with your hips and spine with everything you run and run after crazy balls.
If you practice racket sports, opt for singles. You will get much more from your exercise with regards to bone health training because you will have to run more.
A study published in the Yoga Journal revealed an increase in bone mineral density of the spine in women who practiced yoga regularly. From the thin and precise style of Iyengar to the athletic and vigorous ashtanga, yoga can strengthen the health of the bones of the hips, the spine and the wrists, the bones most vulnerable to fractures.
Standing poses such as Warrior I and II act on the large bones of the hips and legs, while those of the Downward Dog type act on the wrists, arms, and shoulders. The Cobra and Locust postures, which work the back muscles, can preserve the health of the spine. Yoga also sharpens your balance, coordination, concentration and body awareness, and helps prevent falls.
Golfing is one of the many exercises for bone density that is often overlooked. You may have always thought that golf was reserved for the elderly, people who could no longer practice “real” sports. That is a wrong thought! Carrying the 18-hole golf bag and swinging the big clubs to hit the ball such that it will travel a long distance is a lot of work for the upper body. And all the walking, hiking and searching for the balls, is a lot of work for your hips and spine.
6. Quick Walk
Walking is one popular fitness trend that never goes away. A study of nurses found that walking four hours a week reduces the risk of hip fracture by 41%, compared to less than one hour a week. Walking fast is better, but you can adjust your speed to your current fitness level. Walking is free and you can do it anywhere, at any time, even when traveling.
7. Taking Hikes
The work of bearing weights and the impact when the feet hit the ground can greatly increase bone density, especially in the hips. The exercise will have even more impact on bone density if it involves going up and down a hill. This can further improve the health of your bones. In addition, a greater impact on the feet and legs results in a higher bone density.
And with hiking, boredom is rarely a problem. You are often socializing and meeting new people, and you also broaden your horizons when you discover new landscapes.
Here, we are talking about the most popular trends in salsa, samba, lindy hop, rumba, east coast swing, foxtrot, and tango. Use these hips movements to stimulate your heart in many ways and strengthen your bones while there.
You can also try the latest aerobics, kickboxing or step classes at your local health club. Many of these classes now combine strength training with dance moves. These exercises increase bone density and also improve balance.
Take some precautions when exercising if you already have thin bones:
- Since your risk of fracture is higher than normal, be careful in any exercise that can cause serious falls, such as alpine skiing, ice skating or inline skating.
- If your spine is weakening your bones, you may want to forget the deep postures of yoga.
- Again, talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you are taking medications that delay your coordination or throw you from your balance.
Lastly, be patient. The phase of bone formation in young adults, at its fastest rate, takes three to four months and can last much longer if you have osteoporosis or if you are older. Therefore, you will not notice major changes in bone density tests after your first week of training. Bones change slowly, but they change.
Exercise is a very important way to preserve bone density. Adults have been sensitized to the benefits of exercise, particularly in the elderly, for a variety of reasons, including the preservation of bone mineral content.
It is also well accepted that the increase in activity creates forces in the bones that trigger an increase in bone density, a natural response to the protection of heavily used bones by strengthening them. Therefore, it makes sense that children who exercise more also have stronger bones.
Summary and Recommendation
To maximize the beneficial effects of increased bone density in adults, we need to improve the consumption, storage, and retention of calcium in children and adolescents. This begins with the adequate and appropriate consumption of milk or alternative drinks, abundant physical activity, replacement as needed during pregnancy and lactation, and the minimization of soft drinks.
Engaging in these exercises that improve bone density is a sure way to maintain and keep your bone mineral density at a great level.
Therefore, go on exercising so as to have great bones.
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