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Increasing Bone Density With Exercise

By Tom Herrin

Bone density is a big deal.  It determines the strength of your bones and helps to keep them in better condition.  It is a general belief that greater bone density can help you to avoid some of the bone related conditions such as osteoporosis.  We hear about some very serious problems as a result of these.  Some really good news is that it is never too late to participate in exercise that increases bone density.  According to researchers, there are some definite types of exercise that help to improve bone density.

What Kinds of Exercises Perform This Function?

Elizabeth Quinn, in using data from the University of Michigan researchers, stated in an article entitled “The Important Link Between Exercise And Healthy Bones” from that the following were the characteristics of activities that increased bones density:  

  • The magnitude and strain that the exercise imparts - Meaning that the muscles must be placed  under stress in order to strengthen bone.
  • The rate of muscle strain done by the exercise - These are described as exercises that involve high repetition and carry a load.
  • The frequency in which the exercise strains the muscle - In this case the bone itself is actually receiving impact repeatedly within its normal function.     

Besides the standard exercises such as weight training, Ms. Quinn made the point that many of the exercises included some kind of jumping, specifically.  The activity of jumping serves to strengthen the bone as it generates that impact on the bones and muscles. 

You Have To Recognize Your Current Condition

While many of the exercises already mentioned are beneficial to anyone, it is important to know if you have any existing conditions.  An article found in MayoClinic titled “Exercising with osteoporosis:  Stay active the safe way,” emphasis is made that individuals already identified with osteoporosis should avoid the high impact exercises such as jumping.  Being generally active and exercising is still considered a good way to protect the bones.  This article also emphasizes the benefits of doing activities involving balance.  

Where Do I Fit In?

There are several things to remember.  One is to stay as active as possible; this is helpful in any case.  Two is that for already healthy bones, impact activities are good.  Three is to exercise caution in participating in activities that are endurance-based for long periods of time if you want to strengthen bones.  These activities may deplete the minerals through loss of fluids during the activity.  Moderation in all things is usually a good guide.  It holds true here, too.  Develop and maintain an exercise program that meets your needs, and you will reap the benefits.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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