Do you take care of your bones? Well, you should! Martha's friend, June Lay, a health and fitness specialist, explained what bones are and why they are so important to a healthy and active life.
- Bone is living tissue made up of cells that we lose and gain each day just like the tissue and cells of our skin.
- During childhood, new bone growth outpaces loss, and we reach our peak bone mass between 20 and 30 years old.
- The most talked about form of osteoporosis, type I, occurs in women when estrogen levels start to decline at menopause.
- Type II occurs in men and women alike later in life as a result of aging (70 years and older).
Excessive Bone Loss
- When there is excessive bones loss, fractures are likely, there is height loss, and, in extreme cases, a dowager's hump (an abnormal outward curvature of the upper back) forms.
- The most common fracture sites are the femur (hip), radial (forearm), and vertebrae (spine), with the hip being the most debilitating.
- Exercise helps our bones by placing stress on them which stimulates new cell growth, one component important to bone health.
- Exercise also stimulates the body to absorb more calcium in respond to the need for new cells.
- There are two types of exercise that bone responds to favorably. The first is gravitational or weight-bearing exercise, the second is high-intensity weight training.
- Some exercises that achieve a gravitational pull on our bodies are standing, walking, and jogging.
- For high-resistance exercises, work out with enough weight that allows you to perform only eight to 10 repetitions. Studies show that exercising three times per week is optimal.
- Before you begin any exercise regimen, consult your doctor.