Your skeleton supports your entire body, so thin bones are no laughing matter. It’s a problem that can lead to serious fractures and affects thousands every year, including celebrities like Joan Rivers and Gwyneth Paltrow. However, decreasing bone density doesn’t have to spell the end of your activities. In fact, a little exercise can make a huge difference! There seems to be a positive link between weightlifting and bone density that could help you prevent fractures or other serious injuries, especially later in life.
Studies are increasingly showing that weight training slows bone loss and may stimulate bone production, even if you’re older or have osteoporosis. The strain on your bones from the extra weight signals the body that it needs to retain bone tissue. Some evidence shows it can encourage new tissue growth as well, which combats thinning in your skeleton.
It is important to note that your bones do have to undergo some light stress for them to get stronger and denser. Aerobic activities like swimming and biking are great for your heart, lungs, and circulation, but they don’t increase bone health. On the other hand, impact exercises like running, jumping, and especially weightlifting, put a degree of stress on your skeleton. These are the activities that improve bone density.
The good news is you don’t have to spend hours in the gym every day, or even do all the same exercises, to feel the benefit. Spending 15 – 30 minutes a few times a week lifting weights and working all the major muscle groups can make a significant difference. Just start slowly and condition your body to handle the weight to avoid injuries. If you’re concerned about your bone health, are noticing negative effects in your lower limbs from decreased bone density, or just don’t know how to start weightlifting, contact the experts at Sierra Foot & Ankle. Fill out the online contact form or call our Gardnerville, NV, office at (775) 783-8037 for more information or an appointment.