by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
We all know that with age comes the scary risk of osteoporosis, an illness in which you lose mineral density in your bones, making them weak, frail and liable to breaking. It is a disease that doesn’t discriminate; men as well as women can develop osteoporosis. Even though this is true, the disease is much more common in females. Building bone mineral density, starts during your childhood. By the time you reach the teen years your eating habits begin to help ensure strong bones for later on in your life, but if you did not keep up with a workout regimen for healthy bones when you were a child, do not worry, you can jump in the action, still!
You should get into the habit of consuming plenty of calcium-rich foods to build bone mineral density. A 3-year-old needs 500 mg of calcium daily, but by the time he/she turn 9 years old, he/she should be consuming about 1,300 mg of calcium. Adults who are over the age 50, need 1,200 mg. To add on to your dairy products, which are high in calcium, consume broccoli, spinach, soy products and fortified whole grain breads and cereals.
Include a daily dose of vitamin D to help boost the beneficial effects of calcium on your bones. Many doctors on the case suggests consuming about 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily, this applies to children over two and for adults. Vitamin D can be found abundantly in sunlight, tuna, egg yolks and oily fish.
Take part in exercises, such as walking, jogging and playing sports as much as you can to build bone density naturally. These exercises, when done right, strengthen the bones in the lower part of your body, including your hips, legs and lower spine region.
You can strengthen the bones in your upper body by lifting weights with your arms. Resistance training with weights helps build strong bones and upper body muscles which you will my proud to do as you go along noticing the results. By weight training i don’t mean you have to train for a high top championship or tediously do the same exercise again and again. A variety of exercises will produce bone-building benefits. Both physical impact and weigh exercises stimulate bone formation. Exactly as when a muscle gets stronger and bigger the more you put it to the use, a bone becomes stronger and denser when you regularly place demands upon it.
Some of the best bone builders are those exercises that can help put force on the bone, such as weight-bearing activities like running and resistance exercises like strength training. In total, the higher the impact involved, the more it gets the bones stronger. However, it is really important to know how to tell the difference between the exercises that will boost bone density from the ones that will not. Weight lifting, including curls and bench presses, is a beneficial activity. Dancing, jogging, and brisk walking are all weight-bearing exercises, which promote good mechanical stress in the skeletal system, taking part in the placement of calcium in bones. Aerobic exercises like biking, rowing and swimming do not strengthen the bones.
For women it is recommendable to start strength training long before menopause. Even though it is common for women to have struggles and later ages with bone density, it is possible to experience the benefits at any age. A study revealed that women as old as 70 who lifted weights twice a week for a year prevented the expected loss of bone and even raised their bone density slightly. A study conducted in nursing homes of people who are in their 80s and 90s that worked out with weight machines three times a week for just eight weeks showed improvements in strength, balance and even walking speed. Know that it is never too late to lift just a few light weights and boost your bone density!
Keep in mind that doing aerobic exercise is really good for your cardiovascular system, so it still should be done along with strength training. And you do not have to dedicate a lot of time to strength training to notice the benefits. About 15 to 30 minutes of weight training, two to three times per week, can provide you with the bone density you need to prevent osteoporosis. Just remember to make sure that you work all your different muscle groups and allow a 24-hour between sessions of the same body muscle workout.
Note that if resistance exercises to strengthen muscles and bones are not being used, most people are going to experience flabbiness and its related troubles. As we age, strength training becomes even more important to unbalance age-related decreases in muscle and bone mass that can lead to frailty and fracture. Therefore it is important to try to keep our bones healthy.