Strength training for women and bone health
Strength training a few times a week can help preserve muscle mass regardless of a woman’s age.
Strength training is an overall important part in fitness because it is an exercise which allows muscles to move against resistance. According to the Mayo clinic, as we age muscle mass continues to diminish, thus making strength training even more valuable. Michigan State University Extension encourages women to consider strength training a few times a week which can help bone health regardless of a woman’s age.
Women are much more susceptible to osteoporosis due to changes in hormones as they get older. The Center for Disease control has found that women over the age of 50 lose on average 1-2 percent of bone mass each year. Evidence does suggest that the most beneficial activity for bone health is either that of strength training or resistance training. Lifting weights on a routine bases can also slow down bone deterioration and slow down the effects osteoporosis can play on the body. Often osteoporosis shows no signs or symptoms until a fracture has occurred. Strength training can also aid in the recovery process by strengthening muscles, increasing bone density, and improving balance and posture.
Health experts recommend that women follow these tips for strong healthy bones:
- Know your risks for Osteoporosis
- Talk to your doctor
- Get Calcium each day
- Get vitamin D each day
- Get physically active
Women should consult their doctor before engaging in any physical and or strength training exercises. The doctor can determine a person ability to strength training and what exercises are appropriate for their personal fitness level. Women with osteoporosis should take caution and talk with their medical provider before beginning. Some examples of weight bearing exercises include: lifting weights, dancing, elliptical training, and stair climbing. All of these examples work directly on the bones to slow down mineral loss.