As we start to get older, bone health is vital in keeping us active, strong, and doing what we love. Low bone density, osteopenia, and osteoporosis leads to pain, an increased risk of fracture, and limited mobility and ability to do the things we love. Which is why keeping our bones strong should be a priority for anyone over 50 years old.
Without a doubt in my mind, strength training is the best thing you can do to improve all aspects of your health. Getting stronger not only improves bone density and treats osteoporosis, but it improves balance, lowers stress, and improves sleep…things that everyone needs. Unfortunately, exercise can often be passed over for prescription drugs and supplements.
In this article we’ll explain why strength training is better than any other treatment for bone density and osteoporsis and provide a few of the most beneficial exercises to help you get started.
Why Strength Training Is The Best Way To Improve Density And Treat Osteoporosis
Thanks to a discovery made by 19th century German anatomist Julius Wolff (called Wolff’s Law) we know that our bones have an amazing ability to adapt to the loads under which they are placed
Increasing the load on our bones actually causes the them to remodel themselves over time to become stronger and more resitant that sort of loading. Which is why strength training is the best thing you can to do improve bone density, reverses osteopenia, and decrease the risk of a fracture. That’s more than you can say for any medication (and all their side effects) or a simple calcium supplement (who effectiveness is coming under question).
Getting Started With Strength Training for Osteoporosis
It can be hard to get started with strength training when we don’t know where to start. Especially if we’re worried about falls, fractures, or aggravating old injuries. When starting with a routine it’s important to pick exercises that are challenging, but also safe.
The best exercises to improve bone density are full body, weight bearing exercises. By focusing on the following three full body movements you can safely strengthen your bones – without stressing your joints.
The Sit To Stand
The sit to stand is an introductory squat movement and one of the best full body weight bearing exercises to build strength in our legs and increase load on our hip and leg bones to stimulate bone remodeling for osteoporosis. The Sit to Stand Exercise is a safe and effective way to introduce this movement. For even more of a challenege you can find more squat progressions here.
Step Ups are another safe weight bearing exercise that help improve bone density and full body strength. As you build strength and confidence in this movement you can slowly transition into other full body lunging movements. You can find more lunge progressions to match your ability level here.
Loaded Carries, like the kettlebell march, are another safe and effective way to improve bone density and treat osteoporosis. Simply lift up something heavy, and march in place.
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New To Strength Training? Get Started With Our Free Program
Solving Pain With Strength: An Approachable, Step-by-Step Strength Program For Adults Limited By Joint Pain
Are you new to strength training? Be sure to check out other articles in our Strength Training For Beginners Series to be sure you can build SAFELY build strength – without being in pain.
- The Best Equipment For Your Home Gym
- How To Perform The Hip Hinge
- Five Hip Hinge Mistakes
- Ten Hip Hinge Progressions
- How To Transition From The Hinge To The Lift
- How To Squat Without Pain
- How To Deadlift Without Pain
- Lunging Alternatives For Knee Pain
- Knee Pain On Lunges? Three Easy Fixes
- Shoulder Movements For Less Shoulder Pain