When it comes to aging with strength and power, paying extra attention to your bone health, particularly bone density, is an absolute must.
While it is common for most people to associate a person’s strength with their muscles’ size, our skeletal system plays a significant role in maintaining our body’s vitality as we age.
Acting as a supportive tree for our muscles and connective tissue, staying active is one of the best ways to maintain your bone density and strength, whether you are 25 or 85!
As a natural part of aging, it is common for people to experience bone demineralization (the loss of calcium from the bones causing weakness, also commonly referred to as osteoporosis).
If not adequately treated and monitored, age-related osteoporosis can lead to various health complications, including chronic pain, postural changes, potential bone fractures, other skeletal injuries, and ultimately loss of independence.
Like other health conditions, treating osteoporosis with prevention is always better than looking for a cure — just because bone demineralization is a natural part of aging, it doesn’t mean you are powerless over its progression.
As an area of our health that we can work on, bone density can be increased by staying committed to a regular strength-based exercise schedule — and no, you don’t have to be hitting the gym to lift super heavyweights to achieve this goal!
As a leading provider of educational resources for staying healthy with age, our team at Fit4100 created this article to discuss the importance of maintaining bone density and sharing some inspiring stories of how to age with power and strength.
Understanding the importance of bone density and Menopause
Composed of 206 different-sized and specialized bones, the human skeleton is an essential structural support for our muscles and internal organs.
For most, the health and strength of our bones remain stable when we are aged 25-50 — but as we age, more rapid rates of demineralization and resorption begin to occur, resulting in a decrease in bone density. As a process deeply tied to changes in other female hormones, the natural decline of estrogen caused by Menopause is believed to play a role in the increased risk of osteoporosis in women over 50.
If left untreated, age-related osteoporosis will increase your risk of experiencing a host of health problems, including increasing your risk of experiencing spontaneous bone fractures and chronic pain.
To combat this, incorporating strength-based training into your daily routine can help to reinforce your bones and reduce your risk of experiencing severe complications with age.
Prevent is better than Cure – Keep Your Bones Strong.
Like any other health endeavor, long-term commitment and building sustainable habits are the best ways to stay on top of your bone health.
While we all know that starting a new healthy habit is often easier said than done, even small changes now can make a difference in maintaining your bone density as you age.
One of the most beneficial ways to increase bone density is getting active and participating in weight-bearing exercises to refortify your bones while encouraging improved mineralization.
While it is easy for our minds to jump to Olympic weightlifting as the “best” way to partake in weight-bearing exercises, there are many other more accessible options that can still have a profoundly positive impact on your bone health.
Examples of activities that increase bone density include:
- Low-weight strength training — As an excellent option for anyone looking to improve their overall strength, resistance training using bands and dumbells effectively supports improved bone density. For beginners, starting slow with minimal weight (2 or 5 lbs weight) is the best way to prevent injury while still getting the weight-bearing benefits of the exercises.
- Low-impact aerobic exercises — If going to the gym is not your style, aerobic exercises like walking, dancing, and gardening are great options for maintaining your bone health. These activities can easily be enjoyed alone or with others, making working out fun and social!
- Flexibility training — Essential for preventing injuries, stretching your muscles before and after exercise can also help reduce the stress on your skeletal system. Additionally, group exercises such as yoga and tai chi can also offer bone-strengthening benefits while encouraging improved flexibility.
- Stability and balance exercises — Falling due to poor balance is one of the primary reasons people break bones as they age. Improving your balance through regular stability exercises can help to reduce your risk of becoming injured due to poor coordination. Pilates for Seniors is an excellent activity for all ages and can be integrated as a daily practice.
Get inspired to stay Strong, Active, and Independent.
If you are looking for some motivation and inspiration to get active, look no further than the story of Edna – Australia’s 100-year-old fitness fanatic.
Averaging five fitness classes a week, including tai chi, freestyle aerobics, and weight circuit classes, Edna is keeping active, supporting her bone health, and having fun doing it!
Able to do full-body push-ups and keep up with her peers (who can be up to 70-years younger than her) when lifting weights, Edna is a prime example of aging with power and strength.
Through her commitment to her overall health and wellness, Edna has done a fantastic job looking after her bone health as she ages — and she is an inspiration to many! As a member of her local gym for over 40 years, Edna started taking more regular fitness classes with her husband after he retired to give them something to do. By doing so, Edna built a sustainable healthy habit that has helped keep her entire body healthy and strong.
Learn more about healthy aging with Fit4100
As we age, our bodies go through a series of natural changes — some of which we have more control over than others.
With this in mind, building a sustainable habit of participating in regular bone-supporting exercises is a must for women of any age — because what you do now will benefit you later!
At Fit4100, we are proud to offer a wide variety of high-quality and accessible resources created to educate women about everything related to aging. Whether you are looking to learn about menopause symptoms and management or want to improve your bone density, we have easy-to-read articles perfect for you to share with your loved ones.
Explore our entire collection of articles on our website blog today to learn more about how you can age with power!