Yes, it’s a given…regular exercise has enormous benefits for health.
Why? Most importantly, it will diminish the risk of heart attack, stroke, and premature death.
Need more reason? Consider the many studies that link physical activity to protection against diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and fractures, depression, insomnia, dementia, colon cancer, breast cancer, and possibly prostate cancer.
In actuality, only about 1/3 of American adults get the exercise they need. Lack of time seems to be the most common reason. Moderate exercise can be built into daily life. It is important to speak with your doctor about your health before beginning any fitness program.
There is also a nasty little rumor that exercise causes arthritis. Studies show that exercise can be safe for joints, both in older, overweight folks and in athletes.
The younger you start, the better the benefits, although it is never too late to start. The best time to build bone density is during years of rapid growth. Our peak bone mass in maximum strength and density is achieved in our late twenties. Exercise can prevent or slow bone loss, maintain muscle mass to preserve and strengthen surrounding bone, and decrease the risk of falling. Both men and women also need good nutrition, calcium, and Vitamin D to preserve their bone mass.
Weight-bearing, strength training or resistance exercises are the very best for your bones. Weight-bearing exercises force you to work against gravity. What that does is increase your bone density, your muscle strength, your flexibility, as well as boost your mood and your cognitive function.
Bone mass decreases with age naturally. Women will typically lose 30 to 50 percent and men 20 to 30 percent of their bone density over a lifetime.
What is considered a weight bearing/strength training/resistance exercise?
- climbing stairs
- Racquet sports
- lifting weights
- Resistance Training
An effective exercise program for bone health includes 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity, four or more days a week. Start slow, take rest days, and always use proper form. The benefits of lifting weights include building muscle, burning body fat, strengthening your bones and joints, reducing injury risk, and improving heart health.
Choose an activity that you enjoy, maybe one that combines social tine. There are many activities that will get you on your feet and moving.
Adding strength training to your workouts is a great way to improve your overall fitness, from burning body fat and strengthening your bones to preventing injury and making your heart healthier. Other exercises such as swimming and bicycling can help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits. Tai Chi and yoga provide significant flexibility and balance training benefits. Strengthening balance is essential to prevent dangerous falls for seniors.
Keeping your joints healthy should begin with the initial goal of reducing the wear and tear on the cartilage over time. Some of the best exercises you can wrap into your routine to support your joint health.
- Flexibility exercises
- Stretching exercises
- Cardiovascular exercises
- Low-impact exercises
- Weight training
Exercise can have a colossal influence on your mood. In fact, it is thought that exercise can be just as effective as anti-depressants in treating mild-to-moderate depression. It will increase your energy levels, help you get a good night’s sleep, improve your self-esteem, increase your confidence, and relieves the stress.
Not sure if you are a candidate to begin a workout regime? Dr. Marshall P. Allegra is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in private practice in Monmouth County for over 25 years. As an experienced diagnostician, Dr. Allegra can expertly determine your bone health, injuries, and then determine the best treatment options boost your normal life, restore functionality and range of motion as quickly as possible and avoiding long term implications.