Ladies, Learn How To Gain Muscle To Stay Strong And Prevent Osteoporosis
We exercise to burn fat and lose weight, but did you know that when done correctly, regular exercise not only results in muscle gain, (nicely defined) but it stimulates new bone growth?
If you are a woman over 35 and you exercise, you are improving your chances of preventing osteoporosis, the type that evolves from bone loss as we get older.
Osteoporosis causes bone loss in the hips, spine and wrists, making them brittle and susceptible to low impact, but painful fractures. More than thirty five million American women suffer from it.
As if that’s not enough, it also causes us to appear shorter as we age…so, we actually “shrink” in height…
Not a good think to look forward to.
Osteoporosis is NOT curable. But increased muscle and bone mass it’s important at any age.
Imagine you are enjoying a nice stroll around the park and suddenly you step on a pebble or loose gravel, losing your balance and twisting your ankle.
As incidental as that might sound, it can be catastrophic if you have weak bones, even at a young age. Depending on the severity of the accident, your ankle would be swollen and sore, and you could be in pain for a couple of days or longer.
But what if you had been working out your legs for months prior to the injury?
Your ankle would be healed in no time flat. A little swelling and soreness that would go away in minutes or a few hours max, and you’re good to go.
It all comes down to this:
Training. All athletes, professional players and boxers do it. In essence, they prepare their bodies to take the blows and falls. They build bones while increasing muscle mass.
We can simply call it prevention. Our own “health insurance” so that we too, prepare our bodies for those unexpected punches.
So if you work out to burn fat and build muscle, you are getting the awesome bonus of a stronger bones “insurance”.
Here’s how to gain muscle by exercising with weights, or doing any type of resistance training activity:
Weight lifting encourages muscle to pull on bone as it builds bone tissue. The stress of pulling and motion helps to increase the body’s response to bone building.
Weight-bearing exercises, which stress the bones at the hips, spine and wrists, include:
- Stair climbing
- Other activities that make you work through gravity.
NOTE: Walking and swimming are great for cardio, however, not so good for building bone.
In a study conducted by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, doctors measure the bone density of athletes and proved that mass density is higher across most boards but particularly high in individuals who practice weight lifting, gymnastics and soccer. Since gymnastics is difficult to learn and soccer requires an entire team, weight lifting in an osteoporosis program is the best option. (1,2)
Feed Your Bones Right. Always include the following in your diet:
- Adequate amounts of calcium– at least 800 mg/day
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K2
- Eliminate tobacco and limit alcoholic beverages
Note: If you don’t eat dairy products, be sure to eat lots of salmon, sardines and green leafy veggies.
In short, by using weight training to increase strength AND burn fat to lose weight women can also build bones (new bone tissue) and improve their strength and ability to balance, thus minimizing their risk of falls and fractures at any age. (3)
To Your Health!
(1) The University of Arizona Bone Builders: Exercise
(2) American Society for Bone and Mineral Research: Bone Density in Athletes
(3) MayoClinic.com: Osteoporosis