|Photo by smcgee.|
Anyone started an exercise regime should first consult with a doctor, especially if you already have some medical conditions. For example, those with osteoporosis should avoid doing a number of types of exercises, such as football, soccer, forward bends and twists because of a risk of injury. See your physician for a more complete warning list.
I have exercised regularly in my life, so I was surprised when my DXA scan showed that my bones weren't adequately dense for my age (early 50s). Once I started looking at more information about bone-strengthening exercises, I saw a few problems.
- I don't weigh very much, which puts me in a high-risk category.
- I quit running in my mid-20s due to heal spurs and switched to low-impact machines.
- I haven't included strength training in my exercise routine: just cardio and stretching.
- I am too sedentary outside of my daily exercise routine. I sit for hours to read and write.
But I can't travel back in time myself. I need to work in the present for better bone health. And everything I read about aging and fitness suggests that it's never too late to start an exercise regime.
Consequently, I'm trying to incorporate more bone-strengthening activities:
- Stair climbing. I used to ask my kids to run down into the basement to get me forgotten items. No more. I get my own things and volunteer to get theirs. I also sometimes just run the stairs 3-5 times as a break from writing. I also avoid elevators and take the stairs.
- Strength training. I received some free training on the weight machines when I joined the YMCA 5 years ago. I kept a routine for about six months on my own and then slacked off in favor of cardio machines and cardio workouts. I need to incorporate weight training at least 3 times a week.
- Walking. I used to read in my car while I waited for my son while he attends early morning scripture study. Now I spend the 50 minutes walking in the gym at the church. I could walk the dog more, too. The dog would see that as a win-win.
There is more to say about exercise and bone density, but this information and the links provide a good running start. I have a goal to write a monthly post on bone density. (This helps motivate me to increase my own bone-healthy behaviors.) Consequently, I just might expand on one of the above forms of exercise listed above.
Do something today to improve bone health. Bone-strengthening exercises will help you maintain mobility for a longer period of time--keeping you from having to use a cane, a walker or a wheelchair.
What Is Osteopenia?
Calcium and Bone Health