How to Battle the Bone Thief with Exercise and Weight Training Programs
May is all about the women in our lives – from May Day to Mother’s Day. More importantly, though, in May we celebrate National Women’s Health Week from May 10 – 16. Established by the US Department of Health and Human Services in 1991, National Women’s Health Week hopes to promote, educate, inform, and create policy to help women get healthier at every age. Moreover, it’s a platform to address career advancement for women in health and scientific professions.
Initially, women’s health week was designed to shine a spotlight on women’s health issues, many of which were brushed aside for too long. The Office on Women’s Health (the OWH) is now focusing on “women’s health priorities to meet the sweeping demographic trends of the next century and to focus on the millions of underserved women in America.”
One such priority is osteoporosis – the bone thief. Osteoporosis is the loss of calcium and other minerals from our bones that causes them to be brittle and puts us at risk of breaking them. The bones most affected are: hip, spine, and wrist. Though osteoporosis isn’t exclusively a female disease, affecting an estimated 1.5 million males in the United States, comparatively over nine times more women suffer from it, affecting an estimated 10 million women in the United States.
As soon as we say, “osteoporosis,” we usually think about old stooped over ladies with gray hair being pumped with dairy products and Vitamin D. Most, though, don’t realize that osteoporosis can affect anybody, no matter her age, and though calcium and Vitamin D are essential to bone health, so, too, is exercise. In fact, exercise and weight training are the only ways to build bone density. In fact, the OWH has a great program geared for girls between 9 and 18 called Best Bones Forever!® to encourage young girls to eat Vitamin D and calcium-rich diets and exercise as these are considered a girl’s formative bone-building years. Exercise matters! An active lifestyle is necessary!
A sedentary lifestyle causes loss of bone mass, increasing a person’s risks with osteoporosis. Registered personal trainers work with patients with osteoporosis to build better bones and improve physical fitness through exercise and weight training programs. Exercise helps battle and stave off osteoporosis by:
- Reducing the rate of bone loss.
- Conserving bone tissue and improving bone density.
- Bettering our balance, in turn, helping us reduce our risk of falling.
- Improving fitness and strength.
- Increasing mobility and reaction time.
A solid exercise program that balances weight training and aerobics is essential to bone health. Never, however, begin an exercise program without consulting with your physician. Your personal trainer will take into account your age, your medical history, the medications you’re taking, degree of osteoporosis, and program goals to set up a fitness program to suit your unique needs. That, plus a calcium, Vitamin D-rich diet, should put you on the road to healthier bones.