Warung Bebas

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Resistance Training for Osteoporosis and Older Women's Health

Resistance Training for Osteoporosis and Older Women's HealthSimply put, osteoporosis is a disease condition where the bone tissue thins and becomes fragile. In the actual clinical setting, a patient with bone mineral density of less than 2.5 standard deviations (unit of measuring the bone density through DXA) is officially diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Bones in the body constantly undergo destruction and formation caused by the bone forming cells called the osteoblast and bone destroying cells called the osteoclasts. Osteoporosis plays around three main factors causing the bones to become fragile or brittle. These factors include: too much bone destruction, insufficient bone formation and lesser development of bone mineral density.

Older women are more vulnerable to this condition primarily after the menopausal period since the hormone estrogen rapidly declines. Estrogen inhibits "osteoclastic" activity or bone destruction. Without this hormone, bone formation cannot compensate with the magnitude of bone disintegration.

The Power of Prevention

Prevention is always better than cure. Without prevention, bones become frail and could easily break. Some of the very vulnerable bones include those that carry the greatest weights of the body including the hips and the spine. Hip fractures are difficult to repair surgically because of the irregularity of its shape. Fractures along the spine would be very dangerous because within it is the delicate spinal cord - the body's indirect connection to the brain. A slight deviation of this cord would be detrimental to health and functioning.

Strengthening the Bones

Before reaching the menopausal stage for women and andropausal stage for men, it would be important to take calcium supplements and foods that have high calcium content to prevent osteoporosis from occurring. A minimum of about 1200 mg of Calcium should be taken in daily to support normal body functions. Calcium supplements are also available if the diet cannot supply these amount. Milk, cheese, yogurts, salmon, sardines, okra, beans and almonds are just some of the best sources of calcium there is. Vitamin D3 supplements are also available which promote calcium absorption from the diet and aid in calcium storage.

What to Avoid

Increased blood acidity counteracts bone formation. It would be wise to avoid foods that increase acidity and these include the common soft drinks, most alcoholic beverages, strong vinegars and the like. Smoking is also has a similar effect to acids in preventing "osteoblastic" (bone forming cells) activities and also breakdown estrogen (which inhibits bone destruction).

Resistance Training and Weight Bearing Exercises

Weight bearing exercises cause bone stress. Bone stress stimulates osteoclasts to breakdown bone and release calcium used by the brain and the nerves to issue commands to the body. Constant bone stress prompts the body to compensate by increasing bone formation making bones more dense than it previously was. Resistance training tones the muscles that are connected to bones by ligaments. Active muscles interact well with the bones in producing enough bone stress thus, further bone formation.

Some of the Beneficial Exercises for Osteoporosis

For individuals far from the menopausal stage, weight bearing exercises like moderate intensity jogging, running, hiking, cycling, and active sports like tennis and badminton are advisable activities. People with low bone mineral density however, need to be more careful having safety as the primary concern. Low to moderate exercises are advised with minimal twisting, stretching, and strain to the weight bearing areas. Other helpful resistance exercises for the individuals with healthy bones include side planks, suspended triceps dips, push ups, pull ups, crunches, sit ups, lunges, trunk lifts, squats, jumping jacks and many more.

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