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Boosting Bone Strength: May 4, 2012

Brittle bones are often the bane of older women, as breaks and fractures can sometimes lead to hospitalizations. Now research is showing weight-bearing exercise may offset the effects of bone sapping conditions.

“Definitely, strength training is very important for people with osteoporosis,” says Kath Kinross, a physical therapist with Lee Memorial Health System.

Kath puts her clients through the paces, increasing muscle and strengthening their skeletons.

“As the muscles are contracting and pulling on the actual bones, in particular with strength training because it’s a strong pull, that encourages your body to lay more calcium down in the bones.”

Wanda Nelson is a gym regular.

“I try to get here two to three times a week for one hour, do some cardio as well as the strength training.”

Diagnosed with osteoporosis, she’s seen a marked improvement in her bone health.

“I went from a poor bone density to a normal bone density in June and I’m off of my medication, which is good,” says Nelson.

Bone production peaks at age 35, but you’re never too old to start boosting bone health. Even women in their 60s can start a supervised exercise plan.

“Walking, running, even if you were doing Tai Chi standing, that would be considered a weight baring exercise,” says Kinross.

The sweat equity pays dividends with not only bones but hear and weight.