Exercise for BONE HEALTH – Can resistance training help older bones?
Bone health is something that we may not think about until something starts to go wrong. Statistics show that poor bone health affects 2 in 3 Australians over 50 years age leading to bone fractures which in turn can cause chronic pain, disability & loss of independence.
Healthy bones are essential to live a fit active lifestyle & particularly as women approach menopause & the years beyond where bone loss begins to increase at a rapid rate.
Osteoporosis Australia recommends the following exercises for different life stages:
- Healthy Adults: variety of weight bearing activities & progressive resistance training for at least 30 min, 3-5 times a week
- Post menopausal women & older adults: Participation in exercise programs including weight bearing activities, progressive resistance training & balance & functional activities at least 3 times a week.
Resistance training requires muscles to contract when lifting weights, placing stress on the muscle & bones. The bones strengthen as they adapt to this extra strain. They also say that leisure walking, swimming & cycling are low impact activities that although have benefits for general health & fitness, they are not specifically beneficial for bone health.
A study being conducted at Griffith University is looking at whether resistance training is a safe & effective strategy for improving bone & muscle strength in post-menopausal women. The research is ongoing but so far the results have been positive with women showing an increase in strength & stability & no one getting injured.
Associate Professor Beck conducting this research says that ‘unfortunately, one in three women will experience a fracture after the age of 60 as a result of a gradual decline in bone health”
It is really important to take some action daily to build & maintain your bones. You are never too young or too old to act to protect your bones. The same kind of exercises are effective for bones at any age, but the difference will be your capacity level. You will start slow at a level you are capable & comfortable doing & increase the intensity as you grow stronger. The level at which you start will also depend on your health. If you have any health conditions you will need to have clearance from your doctor.
1.Griffith University Study- Resistance training improves older bones. Associate Professor Belinda Beck- Menzies Health institute QLD
- Osteoporosis Australia- http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/exercise
My name is Donna & I am a Personal Trainer & Health coach based on the Gold Coast Australia. I started Design Fit50 to inspire other 50+ women to live their best life through sharing my own experience & knowledge with health, fitness & lifestyle. Sometimes it’s just seems easier to travel down the path that we know, even though we may not particularly like it. It is a choice & you can either stay where you are or step up & make a change. Just remember you don’t have to do it on your own. Whoever or wherever you are right now, life might seem all too hard, but just stop & think about how hard your future life will be without your health!
I am 59 years old and have turned my life around by making a huge career change. I have gone from a long term career in the finance industry to follow my passion of health & fitness. I am now helping 50+ women grow not only stronger with age, but with better health through my strength & fitness classes. This is the best decision I have ever made. Many ask me why would I do this at my ‘age’?
Through my own experience I found the personal training industry was really lacking in looking after the 50+ woman. There were plenty of classes around for’ gentle exercise’ for the over 50’s, but really, many of today’s 50+ women would not want to attend a class labelled as ‘gentle exercise’. Also I found that many women hated the thought of actually going to a globo gym where there were lots of young people and the trainers didn’t understand the training needs of 50+ women or menopause. Others thought they were too out of shape or even too old to start a new exercise program. Generally I’m finding that these days women are quite active & they are actually looking for more than the basic gym class that will just take them through the motions of exercise.
Being surrounded by like minded women & being able to exercise in a comfortable safe environment is another benefit they enjoy. Lastly, we all manage to have some fun. Exercise isn’t always just about hard work!