Regular exercise is essential for bone health. Mechanical strain to bone produced by exercise enhances bone building over bone breakdown activity. in the absence of physical activity, stem cells that have the potential to produce osteoblasts, the bone building cells, will make fat cells instead.
The following exercise principles are a general guide for maintenance of bone health:
Specificity: Activities that provided mechanical stress to the skeleton should be selected. Those are weight-bearing exercises like running, jogging, walking, and jumping or weight resistive exercises. Organized sports that include running and jumping like volleyball, basketball, soccer, or gymnastics are other examples. Swimming and bicycling do not provide the necessary weight bearing to be ideal exercises. However, cross training is now usually done with this sports that provide the needed weight bearing and resistive activities.
Variety: Your skeleton needs variety of exercise inputs. For instance, walking is a good exercise but alone it is not enough. You will need to incorporate other weight bearing and resistive activities for a comprehensive exercise program.
Keep Challenging: A progressive increase in the intensity of the exercise in needed for continued improvement. Once an exercise program becomes “routine”, it’s time to change it. Otherwise, doing the same routine will give you diminishing returns.
Initial Values: Your starting point will determine your outcome. If you are already fit, you will make smaller gains. In contrast, those with the lowest bone mass and weakest muscles will have the greatest improvement.
Reversibility: The positive effect of exercise on bone and muscle will be lost if you stop exercising. Exercise must be incorporated as part of your lifestyle. You need regular exercise to preserve the positive impact on bone mineral density and muscle.
It’s never to late to start exercising. Exercise can be tailored to your individual needs and interests. If you have low bone density, appropriate modifications need to be made to avoid loads that could cause harm. Safe movements and body mechanics along with fall prevention strategies should be part of your regimen. Starting a program with supervision and guidance from a trained professional with experience is a safe way to begin.