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Strength Training and Osteoporosis

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Hippocrates once said, "That which is used develops, and that which is not used wastes away."   I like to believe that he is talking about strength training and its affect on osteoporosis.  Strength training can be defined as any activity that places a heavier load on the muscles than it is typically used to.  Osteoporosis is defined as a decrease in bone mass and density causing bones to become fragile.

Strength training has been shown to increase bone density. It has been shown to increase overall strength, balance and coordination as well.  Exercise is one of the best natural defenses against this disease.

Unfortunately, as we grow older we tend to use our muscles less and less.  This inactivity is costing us.  Falls and broken bones are of major concern to many of us.  Strength training can help reduce the number of serious accidents by providing a base of strength and balance.

If you already have osteoporosis a weight training program can still help build bone density.  Work with lighter weights and avoid any motion that involves twisting or bending forward.  Also avoid high impact exercises such as jumping or running.

If your main goal is to prevent osteoporosis then work with heavier weights and increase the intensity as you go on. This will build your bone mass up incrementally.

In either scenario it is best to talk with your doctor or specialist before starting any strength training or exercise program.  Your doctor will be able to tell you about any precautions you should take.  Hippocrates was right.  If we don't use it, we will lose it.


By Lynn VanDyke
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Biography: Lynn VanDyke is a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and nutritionist. Her site is quickly becoming a breathe of fresh air.

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