250313 Exercise-good for your bones

Exercise-good for your bones

After looking at the FRAX and maybe scaring yourself into doing something useful for your body when it comes to taking care of your bone health here are a few guidelines for starting an exercise program.

To begin with, exercising for at least a half an hour a day with weight bearing activities such as walking, jogging, skipping rope, running, or the mild plyometric rope skipping will improve the health of your bones. The literature recommends higher intensity load bearing such as that encountered when strength training.

When strength training, do so standing up, and not on a bench or a machine. The hips and spine seem to respond better to the upright position rather than the laying down or sitting versions of many popular exercises. A different neurological signal is sent to the bones when lying down as when compared to standing up.

Strength training exercise places a mechanical load on the bones and muscles. This in turn sends chemical signals to the osteocytes. These are cells within the bones that used to be osteoblasts, the bone forming cells that have been stuck within the bone itself. It is now thought that these trapped osteocytes have little tentacles that touch one another, thereby communicating amongst themselves that they need to begin building new bone tissues.

Therefore, when you are squatting with a bar on your shoulder or holding heavy dumbbells in each hand you are not only loading and making your muscles stronger, you are also strengthening your bones. When your muscles are strong, they exert a heavier pull on the areas of attachment to the bones and this in turn makes the bones even stronger.

Jogging, skipping rope and running all put at least your bodyweight on the joints and muscles as you do the exercise. This in turn makes the muscles stronger which contributes to denser and healthier bone structures.