So your Doctor told you you're showing signs of the early stages of Osteoporosis. He or she probably also told you to start taking Calcium and Vitamin D supplements and to begin an exercise regimen that includes weight-bearing exercises to get your brittle bones back in shape, right?
Well, all of that advice makes sense and will likely significantly improve the density of your bones and ultimately prevent you from accidentally fracturing a hip or anything in your back - but what are these “weight-bearing exercises” your doc mentioned?...
Weight-bearing exercises are any form of physical activity performed on your feet that causes your body to work against gravity and your bones to experience compression and the consequent bone eustress (positive stress) that is the result of that compression.
So what qualifies as weight bearing exercise? Well, your doctor will likely suggest walking as the preferred form of physical activity to improve the health and density of your bones due to its low level of impact and how simple it is to execute.
But . . . one of the numerous problems with starting a walking regimen is that if you were the type to successfully start and continue such a routine, YOU WOULD HAVE DONE SO A LONG TIME AGO and likely not even had this problem in the first place!
So what's the answer?
The Mayo Clinic specifically suggests "strength training exercises, especially those for the back" as well as aerobic exercises performed on your feet, flexibility exercises and balance/coordination exercises. Want to know what exercise counts not only as a strength training exercise for the back that is performed on your feet but also one that challenges your aerobic system, flexibility and balance? That all encompassing bone strengthening exercise is - free weight squats. Want another one? Try "deadlifts."
Both of these are weight bearing exercises that use all of the body’s major muscle groups and skeleton at least to some degree if not directly and they have the potential to do so intensely.
How often should you practice these techniques? WebMD tells us that the Surgeon General suggests practicing these exercises (or exercises such as these) at least twice a week to stimulate the necessary and desired response from the bones that are most likely to suffer damage (namely the hips and spine) associated with osteoporosis. By the way... at Fast Twitch, all of our clients train either twice or three times per week. Just sayin...
Moms - breast feeding? The ACSM suggests getting back in the gym asap to counter the negative, calcium draining, bone eating effects of breast feeding and they suggest you do so with the aforementioned weight bearing exercises.
As usual, if you have any questions, were here to help. Call or email us with any wants or needs and well do what we can to help.