You can increase your muscle strength by staying active, eating right, and exercising. Exercising, in particular, will not only keep you energized, but also strengthen your bones.
There are two groups of exercises – muscle strengthening and weight bearing – that work very well to improve your bone density.
Osteoporosis is linked with weakening bone structure due to gradual loss of bone density. By including these exercises in your daily workout or cardio, you can ensure good bone health for a long time and fight off the effects of aging on your bones.
If you have poor bone health, you could still choose some low impact exercises and physiotherapy to increase bone density.
Muscle strengthening exercises are also called resistance exercises. These include moving your body parts against gravity.
If you have just started with bone workouts, then it is advisable that you work against your own body weight. You can incorporate light weights in your exercise regimen gradually as your resistance level increases.
You need to lift weight to stimulate bone growth. Body muscles need to feel the pressure from the bones to come to their aid.
The best way is to start a workout regimen with some light-weight dumb bells or weight machines at the gym. It is important to remember that weight training is area-specific. The best way is to incorporate a combination of multiple exercises for overall bone enhancement.
You should note that strength training should not be done every day. Twice or thrice a week is usually enough to maintain and improve bone density. Well unless you are that obese vampire in Blade I who obviously despised working out!
Walking is a great way to improve bone health. It is a popular fitness trend among women due to its low impact feature. Brisk walking is the best way to shed those pounds and improve bone and muscle health. However, as with every exercise you need to be mindful of your body and push it to its individual limits.
According to a recent research study, women who walked just an hour a week were 59% more at risk of hip fractures than women who walked 4 hours a week.
Walking can be done anywhere. It is paramount to maintain a correct posture while you walk. Remember to walk with your spine straight and your chest out.
This will make you push out your buttocks partly, which is good for your spine health. Never slouch or let your neck sag while performing brisk walking. It could lead to spinal injuries, which are quite common when bone density is low.
This oriental workout in the form of slow coordinated movements is fast gaining popularity in the fitness world. Tai Chi is known to build coordination and strong bones. Studies have shown that Tai Chi can slow down loss of minerals in bones by up to three times.
Yang and Sun style of Tai Chi are known to enhance body balance and provide relaxation. These workouts also help in strengthening of the bones as you learn to use various muscle groups separately while performing the graceful moves. Advanced Tai Chi is also good for working out the large bone groups such as femur.
Aerobic dancing if done right can work out every muscle group in the body and improve bone strength. However, you need to be careful while dancing as the wrong posture could cause injury.
This is an excellent cardiovascular exercise, which involves twisting, turning, bending and jumping. You get a complete body workout with aerobics as you vigorously use your hands, legs and core at the same time.
Running is a great form of high impact exercise that has various benefits other than improving bone health. However, you need to make sure that you never run at the same pace or the same duration. The trick to have a healthy bone structure is to constantly surprise your body.
Your bones will be stimulated to grow new tissues when you run at difference paces and durations. You also need to ensure that you do not eat a calorie depleted diet. This might in fact make you experience bone loss.
These are among the most effective exercises that stretch and contract muscles at a fast rate to generate power quickly. If you can handle the high impact of the training session (as jump exercises are a core part of this) then they are one of the best exercises for improving bone density.
You can incorporate free floor exercises such as squats that will even help build your spinal health. When you bend, squat and jump, you promote new tissues to grow around the bone. Your bones bend slightly which acts like a powerful stimulus for laying down new bone tissue.
Your bones are stimulated whenever you jump or skip. The impact of both feet landing on the ground at the same time might be somewhat painful in the beginning. However, the force of both feet hitting the ground is an active stimulus to make your bone tissue grow.
There are a number of jumping exercises such as skipping, frog jumps, high jumps, jumping lunges and jump squats that you can incorporate in your workout.
You can start with some moderate impact exercises such as one leg jumps, hero jumps, step-ups and butt kickers that can get you accustomed to jarring your bones.
Yoga puts your muscles and joints under controlled stress that can promote bone health. It is a great option if you do not want to try high impact exercises. However, you need to be careful while doing yoga as an incorrect position or posture might lead to an injury.
There are multiple yoga techniques such as Iyenger or Ashtanga that can promote bone density. These exercises are known to build bone health in your wrists, spine and hips. You can work large bones with yoga postures like Warrior 1 and Warrior 2.
Triangle pose is a great way to ease into the Warrior posture. Downward dog, locust, corpse and child’s posture are great for back muscles. Yoga can improve your spinal health to a great extent.
It is important to remember that moderate to high impact exercises should only be done when your bone density is not already compromised.
You should start with some low intensity exercises such as dancing, walking, tai chi, yoga, or other forms of aerobics that put pressure on your bones to stimulate new growth. Cycling and swimming are not prudent as, according to researchers, these activities can actually cause bone density depletion.