Building and Maintaining Bone Density for Quality of Life
Have you ever heard that resistance training at a young age can stunt your growth? Or have you ever heard someone say that weight training is bad for your joints? If so, I am here to tell you that those are both huge myths and that resistance training is a key factor in bone development early in life, as well as bone preservation and joint health later in life.
The human body produces and builds bone density from the time we are born up until we are in about our mid to late 20’s with the greatest increase in bone density being shown usually in the teenage years. From the age of about 30, we continue to lose bone density at a quicker rate than we can create it and women will see an acceleration of bone loss with menopause.
Resistance or explosive training and exercise are key to bone density development. These kinds of stresses on the bone stimulate them for growth. This is why getting kids active young is so important as to ensure we maximize bone density development, especially during those critical teenage years. Although we cannot totally avoid natural age-related bone loss, continuing to implement resistance training and exercise as we age, along with a proper diet, will help greatly reduce the rate at which bone density is lost, resulting in better overall bone health and improved quality of living.
Here are ways to maximize bone health long term:
Get kids active with explosive style sports and resistance training.
Bone development is triggered when maximum or near maximum force is applied to muscle tissue which is then transferred to the tendons and lastly onto the bone. The more a child and young adult performs these kinds of activities during that critical development period, the greater the potential for denser bones.
Continue to be active and do weight bearing and resistance training after the bone development period. Although we will continue to lose bone density, it can be greatly reduced and in some cases halted totally by following a proper resistance-training regime.
Avoid prolonged exercise.
Although exercise in general is great for bones, over doing it and stressing the bones too much can make them more brittle.
Corticosteroids can accelerate bone loss.
Focus on nutrition and get adequate amounts of vitamin D and calcium daily.
Instead of consuming milk, which can actually leach calcium from bones, try better calcium rich foods such as kale, white beans and almonds.
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