Our personal trainers in West Hartford Connecticut have clients of all ages, from youth to elderly and every age in between! Those elderly clients will often ask our trainers about bone health and how to increase their bone strength through exercise. Yet oddly enough, bone-strengthening activities are especially important in children and teens, as well, because the greatest gains in bone mass occur just before and during puberty.
Our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer decided to address some of these bone density/ exercise questions with us.
First, there is some confusion as to how, exactly, exercise increases bone strength, since the two don’t seem to be related.
Our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer says, “Bones are living tissue. Weight-bearing physical activity—such as walking, weight training, running and playing sports—will cause new bone tissue to form.”
He goes on to say, “Just like muscles will respond to added stress on them during exercise, making them stronger, so do our bones respond to the same type of stress, making them stronger, also.”
Essentially, bones and muscles strengthen when muscles push and tug against bones during physical activity.
Weight-bearing exercise means you carry your body weight, versus non-weight bearing exercises, like swimming and bicycling, where your body weight is supported. These non-weight bearing activities do not directly help to build bones, but they do help to strengthen muscles and are good for your heart.
Our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut says that for most people, bone mass peaks between your teens and your 30s. After that, we can begin to lose bone, so both women and men over the age of 20 should and can help prevent bone loss by exercising regularly. Yet, all ages should exercise when thinking about their bone health, and preventative measures should start early.
exercises like weight training and body resistance training. Just because someone is elderly does not mean they aren’t capable of gaining strength through this type of exercise. In fact, they will not only gain muscle strength and bone strength, but they will also garner greater stability and balance, thereby allowing these clients to fall less often, and prevent broken bones in the first place.
In addition to strength training, for bone health, he suggests walking/hiking, jogging or running, playing team sports, like soccer or basketball, climbing stairs, dancing, playing tennis.
Though non-weight bearing exercises are very good for your heart and they do build strength, they are not as effective for building denser bones, compared with the aforementioned weight bearing exercises, says our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer. These other forms of exercises (non-weight bearing) will include things like yoga, tai-chi, swimming and cycling.
How often should you exercise for bone health? Ideally, says our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut, one should commit to 30 minutes (or more) of weight bearing exercise, four or more days per week. It doesn’t matter if you do those 30 minutes all at once, or if you break them up into shorter bursts. You will still reap the benefits for bone health.