Exercise solutions can increase bone mass, reducing your risk of bone fractures, while weight bearing exercises may increase your risk even further. It’s never too late to start exercising, and there is no one size fits all exercise for everyone. Regular physical activity can:
- Increase your muscle strength
- Improve your balance
- Decrease your risk of bone fracture
- Maintain or improve your posture
- Relieve or decrease pain
Different Types of Exercise
There are many different types of exercise that can reduce your risk of bone fractures as you age and it is important to know the difference between each type:
Strength & Resistance training exercises
Weight-bearing exercises without jumping
Stability and balance exercises
- Flexibility & Stretching exercises
Strength training includes the use of free weights, resistance bands or your own body weight to strengthen all major muscle groups. It can benefit spinal muscles, which are important for posture. Resistance training helps maintain bone density. When performing any type of strength or resistance training it is important to use proper form to prevent muscle damage.
Examples of strength and resistance training exercises are: squats, push-ups, hollow-holds, lunges and more. Check out this article from SELF Magazine that has a great workout for beginners.
Resistance training is simply the action of moving your body against gravity, as when doing a pushup or plank. It can also be achieved by using weighted dumbbells and performing exercises such as biceps curls, incline chest presses, and deadlifts.
Weight-bearing activities involve your own bodyweight, with your bones supporting your weight. This could be walking, dancing, low-impact aerobics, elliptical training machines, stair climbing, and gardening.
These types of exercises use the bones in your legs, hips and lower spine and slow mineral loss. It is important to start slow and increase a small amount of time each day, so that your body gets used to the exercise. After 30 days of adding even just a minute a day you will notice a difference from the beginning.
Stability and Balance Exercises
Fall prevention is especially important as people age. The key to preventing falls is to practice stability and balance. Simple exercises such as standing on one leg or engaging in pilates and yoga can improve your stability, flexibility and balance.
How to Start?
There are a few different ways to start a strength training program. You can hire a trainer, join a gym, or perform your own program at home. Whichever you decide, it’s important to pay attention to proper form to prevent injury. Learn to perform each movement without compromising posture or alignment.
This program outlined by VeryWell Fit is a great starting point for beginners.
Monday – Upper body (chest, shoulders, upper back, and arms) – 1-2 sets of 8-10 reps
Tuesday – Rest day
Wednesday – Lower body (legs, hips, glutes (butt), and core) – 1-2 sets of 8-10 reps
Thursday – Rest day
Friday – Repeat upper body resistance training workout
Saturday – Rest day
Sunday – Repeat lower body resistance training workout
You will see the benefits of resistance training by working out 2–4 days per week for just 15–20 minutes per day.
How Do I Know if I’m Improving?
By tracking your DEXA Scan results with trends you can see the difference any training program is making in your body. To find a provider who performs Whole Body DEXA Scans visit DEXASCAN.COM.