Most people know that regular exercise helps with weight loss and weight maintenance and helps keep us fit and healthy. Exercise is also essential for the health of our bones.
Regular weight-bearing exercise helps build up bone mass in young people and helps maintain this strength through their adult years. If you’re not “young” anymore then the good news is it is never too late to start exercising.
Just like muscles, bones will deteriorate if they are not used regularly.
The best types of exercise for your bones are weight-bearing exercises that are moderate to high impact and weight training. Activities that involve lifting weights, running, jumping and skipping are great. Some activities you could do include: strength training or resistance training, aerobics, dancing, jogging, tennis and brisk walking.
You don’t need to go to a gym for weight training. You can do weight training at home with just some basic equipment. You will need some weights or dumbbells. If you are new to lifting weights then start with 2-4kg.
If you haven’t exercised for some time, or have any ongoing health problems then you should consult your doctor before beginning any new activity.
It is important to ease into a new exercise program and progress slowly. It can be beneficial to have a qualified trainer design a specific program for your needs and also to help supervise your progress.
An exercise program that includes activities that help improve posture and balance will help prevent falls and reduce the chances of the elderly suffering bone fractures.
As well as exercise you will need to maintain a healthy balanced diet. This includes making sure your intake of calcium and vitamin D is sufficient as both are required for building and maintaining bone mass. Smoking and excessive alcohol intake can contribute to bone loss.
If you want more information on bone health then visit Osteoporosis Australia at www.osteoporosis.org.au
Leanne is a qualified personal trainer and weight loss consultant. As a devoted mum, she has spent much of her life being a healthy role model for her three now grown up children.
Hundreds of women have benefited from Lee’s health and fitness advice, tips and tricks, meal and recipe ideas, and exercise programs. She loves helping women learn how to stay healthy and get the most out of life while being busy mums. Check out her website www.leeshealthywomensclub.com or find her on facebook @leeshealthywomensclub.