Our bodies go through many changes as we age and it is important to take care of ourselves to keep enjoying the activities we love. One of these changes is a decrease in our BONE DENSITY. Our bones become less thick and more fragile. If our bone density gets too low, it’s called OSTEOPOROSIS. Weak bones make falls and accidents more likely to result in fractures and hospitalization. The National Osteoporosis Foundation reported 1 of 2 women and 1 of 4 men are at risk to break a bone due to osteoporosis in a lifetime.
You can prevent this and MAKE your bones STRONGER! Resistance training is a great way to increase the thickness of your bones and increase the strength of your muscles at the same time. Placing weight against your body increases the tension of the muscle on its attachment to the bone. This sparks the “rebuilding” at the bone to add more thickness and strength into the bone material.
This doesn’t mean you need to hit the gym and squat or bench press hundreds of pounds. You just need enough resistance to make your muscles work harder. The weight may need to be increased as you get stronger but the number is up to your body.
Options for resistance at home include: hand weights, resistance bands, and objects around the house of various weight. Hand weights are predictable meaning you will know exactly how much your body is lifting. Resistance bands increase tension as you pull them creating more “weight” as you move. Objects around you house are convenient. You may be unable to measure the exact weight of household items, but as long as you feel that you’re getting a work out, weight really doesn’t matter!
If you like the idea of the gym, consult a personal trainer. Most gyms have trainers available for personal training sessions or a simple introduction on how to use the machines and weights.
What ever you decide, make sure you are listening to your body and stay safe with resistance training. If you need assistance in starting resistance training or help in your control with increasing resistance, schedule an appointment at Mobilize Physical Therapy by calling (206)402-5483 or schedule online at mobilizept.com.
Informational link to fact from the National Osteoporosis Foundation: