Written by Vilita Cruz
If you haven’t already pumped some iron, now is the time. As we age, we lose precious bone density, which means we are more prone to osteopenia and osteoporosis. Both medical conditions make your bones weak and brittle.
Think back to your childhood. If you fell and broke an arm or leg, the doctor placed you in a cast and you were good as new within weeks. People who develop osteopenia and osteoporosis are more prone to suffer from pain (usually in their backs and hips) and are more likely to incur fractures and breaks resulting in possible surgeries and months of recovery.
The good news is that you can do something to protect your bone density, and that is to weight train 2-3 times a week. Lifting weights places stress on the bones to stimulate deposits of calcium and increase bone-forming cells. As an added bonus, weight training increases your coordination, flexibility and balance, which means you are less likely to fall and hurt yourself. Don’t be a lazy bones… invest in your health and get lifting.
Trainer tip: Since most people are susceptible to back and hip pain, here are two examples of weight training exercises (pictured here) that will help build bone density in those areas. For the back, seated rows. For the hips, kettlebell squats. If you are new to weight training, it is best to hire a fitness professional to ensure good form and safety.
For reference: The graph below illustrates how our bone density changes as we age.