More than 8.9 million fractures occur annually due to osteoporosis, with one occurring every 3 seconds. Osteoporosis happens when bones lose minerals like calcium faster than the body can replace them, leading to a decrease in bone density. The result is weakened bones that are more susceptible to breaks and fractures.
According to the National Institute of Aging, Osteoporosis is more likely to occur as one gets older. In the years surrounding menopause, a woman's bone mass may rapidly decrease. After that, the rate of decline is less sharp, but it still keeps going. Men experience a slower rate of bone mass loss. But after age 65 or 70, men and women lose bone mass at about the same rate.
The good news is that osteoporosis can be avoided if one takes proper care of their bones as part of their overall health, keeps their muscles in good shape, and exercises regularly.
Keeping active on a regular basis has been shown to improve bone density, muscle strength, and balance. The risk of developing osteoporosis can be reduced through regular weight-bearing exercise and strength training because these activities do more than just increase muscle and stamina; they also increase and maintain bone mass and density.
Including these 3 types of exercise is essential for bone health, they are:
Weight-bearing exercise refers to any physical activity that requires you to be on your feet and resist the force of gravity. Activities like walking, jogging, hiking, dancing, and stair climbing all count. Bone health can be improved by walking as little as 3–5 kilometers per week.
Exercising at a moderate to high intensity for 30 minutes five times a week is recommended by most health sources, with 45-60 minutes being optimal.
Resistance training, or strength training, is lifting heavy objects with your arms or legs. Whether you choose free weights you hold in your hands or a resistance machine with a predetermined weight, resistance training can help you build muscle and strength. However, you can also perform resistance workouts with just your body weight as the load, such as resistance tubes.
Resistance training should be performed twice or thrice weekly for optimal effects. You can increase the difficulty of the exercise by doing more reps or lifting heavier weights. Use every muscle in your body, from your arms and legs to your chest and shoulders and even your abs and back. Avoid working the same muscle area in a resistance exercise session on consecutive days. Allow your muscles to fully recover before continuing.
Maintaining bone health requires regular balance exercises. Falls can result in fractures, therefore it's crucial to work on maintaining your balance in order to increase your stability and reduce the likelihood of falling. Standing on one leg, doing tai chi, and stretching activities like yoga are all great examples of balance exercises. You can challenge yourself by starting with an easier balance exercise and working your way up to more difficult ones.
Weight-bearing and resistance exercises is beneficial for nearly everyone; however, if you are new to these types of exercises, it is recommended that you begin with low-impact activities and gradually increase them to higher intensities. If you have any doubts, it is best to see a doctor.