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How To Have Good Bone Health

12-16-2016

We’ve all heard about the many benefits of exercise. Regular exercise can improve endurance, increase strength and help maintain a healthy weight while preventing diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. However, strong bones are also critical to our overall health:

“Bones are the framework of our body ,” says Hoag Orthopedic Institute’s Dr. Emilia Ravski. Bones play an essential role in storing body nutrients and making blood cells, as well as protecting vital organs.”

Peak bone mass is achieved in our adolescent years and, as we age, it slowly begins to deteriorate. This can lead to the development of osteoporosis. As the most common disease of the bone, osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and disruption of normal bone architecture.

Exercise is a key factor in developing and maintaining our bone mass over time. Impact activity such as running and jumping is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to achieve maximum peak bone mass in children. However, weight-bearing and resistance training are necessary for preventing bone loss in adults. Try some of these workouts to help maintain strong bones!

  1. Pylometric Exercise – Jumping rope is a perfect base for adults looking to start pylometric training. With explosive, high-impact movements, pylometrics have been shown to be essential in improving bone mineral mass when performed regularly for more than 10 months. Dr. Ravski recommends 30-60 minutes a day, three or more times a week.
  2. Tai Chi - If you’re looking for a weight-bearing exercise with less impact than pylometrics, try Thai Chi! Accompanied by deep breathing, the slow and focused movements involved in Tai Chi can help reduce stress, improve anxiety and maintain strong bones.
  3. Pilates – Pilates is growing in popularity, and it’s no surprise as to why! Along with strengthening the core and improving flexibility and posture, Pilates is a resistance training exercise proven to prevent bone loss.
  4. Dancing – Although dancing is a great way to burn calories and get blood flowing, it is also another great low-impact, weight-bearing exercise for adults looking to maintain a healthy amount of bone mass. Whether it’s a Zumba, Salsa, or contemporary dance class, grooving with some good music can help adults fight osteoporosis.
  5. Weight training – Even if building muscle is not a main focus, lifting weights can help with bone stimulation. The movements involved in weight training help maintain bone mass and prevent further bone loss as we age. So, the next time youre at the gym, pick up some free weights or choose a machine!

If performed on a regular basis, any of the weight-bearing and resistance training exercises above can prevent bone loss in adults. However, every individual is different.

“The type and intensity of any exercise should be catered to each person based on their age, fitness level and medical history,” says Dr. Ravski.

As with any vigorous exercise program, a physician’s evaluation and clearance is recommended before starting.

Dr. Ravski is a board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with an expertise in pain management.

Categories: Orthopedic Health