Exercises for Life

Bones gain strength when the muscles attached to them gain strength. Bone changes are comparatively slower than the strength changes in muscles. That’s where exercise can play an important role in improving bone strength.

According to NCBI1, compound exercises can stimulate muscle development around the hips, spine, and arms, building bone strength in those vulnerable areas and throughout the body. Even if BMD is not improved as measured by dexascan, resistance training with adequate intensity will dramatically lower the lifetime fracture risk.

In simple words, exercises strengthen bones, which in turn lower the risk of fractures later in life. However, it’s equally important to know which exercise will work for you. Not ‘just any’ but a dedicated exercise regimen works for bone health.

Also, the intensity with which you perform exercise is directly linked to the increase in Bone Mineral Density(BMD)2. Studies have reported an increase in BMD with just five resistance exercises: hip extension, knee extension, lateral pull-down, back extension and abdominal flexion,twice a week for one year.

Exercising in combination with a balanced diet, containing plenty of calcium and Vitamin D,helpsin maintaining muscle strength, coordination, and balance, thereby helping prevent falls and related fractures.

Exercise regimen for Bone Health

These six core exercises are known to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in the typically vulnerable areas of the spine and hip:

The squat

The squat is considered one of the best ways to build and display raw strength.
Steps involved:
Slap a few plates of iron on the bar
Put it across your shoulders, squat until the thighs are parallel to the ground,
Then stand back up.
Repeat 6—8 times for better results.

Shoulder press

The shoulder press, lifting a barbell straight over your head, is also one of the effective ways to increase bone density. Although using dumbbells for doing shoulder presses helps to strengthen the stabilizer muscles, weight matters the most when one tries it to build bone density. Therefore, it’s better to find a shoulder press station or a power cage and use a barbell.

Lat pull down

The lat pull down exercises help increase the muscle strength oflats, biceps, and forearms. After you feel strong enough, you may consider switching to pull ups and weighted pull ups.

Leg press

With leg press you can test the true strength of your lutes, quads, hamstrings and calves without bothering about balance or the lower back. This exercise allows you to move a lot of weight, and the stress generated can help increase bone mineral density.

Seated row

The Seated Row targets similar muscles that the lat pull-down targets. In addition,it also uses the lower back and glutes as stabilizers, and hits the traps.
Tips:

  1. Don’t sway while you perform the movement.
  2. The buttocks should lock the body into a comfortable angle at the hips, and that angle should not change.
  3. Intensity of the weight-bearing workout and level of resistance training are important.
  4. Progressively increasing the weight lifted and consistently exercising two to three times a week are essential for success

T’ai chi
The core training involves two primary features:

  1. The first being the solo form, a slow sequence of movements that emphasize a straight spine, relaxed breathing, and a natural range of motion; and
  2. And the second being different styles of pushing hands, for training sensitivity in the reflexes through various motions from the forms, in concert with a training partner, in order to learn, leverage, timing, coordination, and positioning, when interacting with another.

T’ai chi training may help those suffering from osteoarthritis by strengthening the joint musculature and increasing the range of motion and flexibility. It may be used as an adjunct to the standard treatment.