Recent studies have shown that the risk of osteoporosis is lower for people who are active, and especially those who do load-bearing, or weight-bearing activities at least three times a week.
How can exercise prevent osteoporosis? Muscle pulling on bone builds bone, and weight-bearing exercise builds denser, stronger bones. The more bone mass you build before age 25, the better off you will be during the years of gradual bone loss. Exercise can also help you maintain bone density later in life.
If you already have osteoporosis, you might wonder whether you should exercise at all. The answer for most people is YES. You should speak to your doctor to learn what types of exercises you can safely do to preserve bone and to strengthen your back and hips. Keep in mind, however, the exercise alone can't prevent or cure osteoporosis.
Even if you do not have osteoporosis, you should check with your health care provider before you start an exercise program. Remember to warm up before starting and cool down at the end of each exercise session. For the best benefit to your bone health, combine several different weight-bearing exercises. As you build strength, increase resistance, or weights, rather than repetitions. And remember to drink plenty of water whenever exercising, especially here in Arizona and especially in the summer
Bone Estrogen Strength Training
The Bone Estrogen Strength Training (BEST) study at the University of Arizona, funded by the National Institute of Health, identified the 6 BEST exercises thatare most effective for preventing osteoporosis and improving bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. In this book, the BEST team of researchers lay out the 6 BEST exercises, training protocols and specific programming and motivational strategies to help women adhere to a lifetime of exercise for bone health. BEST book is available online by clicking here.
The BEST exercise program for preventing osteoporosis is based on one of the largest studies on exercise and bone density in postmenopausal women.
The strength training exercises were found in the study to have the most positive effect on bone density. This research and other studies have shown that two sets of each exercise are sufficient for building bone and that the progression of lifting heavier weights over time is essential.
- Wall Squat or Smith Squat
- One-Arm Military Press
- Leg Press
- Lat Pull-Down
- Seated Row
- Back Extension
Based on the findings of the BEST study, its authors have developed a convenient 45-minute exercise session that can be performed 3 times per week. The program combines the strength training exercises that have been proven to build bone with complementary exercises that will help you get the most from your workout.
to see videos of the six BEST exercises.
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