Osteoporosis is a bone disease that can develop in any person and is not just limited to women or the older generation. It can cause difficulty in daily life but is preventable/maintainable in certain ways, though unfortunately not just by drinking your milk!
Osteoporosis causes the bones of the person to become thinner due to a loss of calcium and minerals which in turn leads to the condition where your bones become very brittle.
Your bones require a sufficient supply of calcium to stay strong and similarly your muscles, including your heart, also need a healthy amount. If your calcium consumption becomes too low your body starts removing it from your bones and sends it to, via your bloodstream, to your muscles and heart.
One of the reasons why strength training is helpful against osteoporosis is because of its effect on the body.
When you use weights (be it your own body weight, free weights, or weight machines) your muscles and tendons are put under tension which creates small tears in the muscle and places force on the tendons and bone. When these small tears start to heal they form a stronger muscle, the pressure placed on your tendons and bones aids in increasing the thickness and strength of your bones which diminishes the effects of osteoporosis. (To discover more read our article ‘how do muscles grow and recover’).
Many researchers have published results of their own studies but the most prominent were held by Scientists from Tufts University. Over the last decade, they conducted multiple studies which have shown that weightlifting has a direct and positive effect on increasing bone density as well as a variety of other benefits. Exactly how much bone density increased by weightlifting was different in each case, however, it was found to be the most efficient way to prevent osteoporosis.
To maximize the effects of weightlifting you need to focus on workouts that help increase bone density in the hips and spine: Squats are one of the easiest ways to increase bone density and there are many different varieties of squats. You can try doing squats while holding weights like dumbbells. Even lifting weights, in general, can help you increase and maintain bone density.
Lunges are a great way to raise bone density in the hip and legs. There are a variety of ways you can do lunges which include Forward lunges, side lunges, reverse lunges, and many more. Stair climbing and push-ups are also great and simple ways you can squeeze in some osteoporosis workouts in your day to day life. You don’t need a daily gym hit as long as you can carry out some functional movements every day.