Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Exercise for Healthy Bones

Do you wonder if you are at risk from calcium depletion in your bones?  Did you know that after our mid 30’s our bones start to lose calcium faster than they absorb it, but with exercise and adequate calcium you can slow bone loss and help maintain the bone you have built.

The old saying ‘move it or lose it’ is really apt when it comes to getting older and increasing your bone density.  Exercise as you know has many benefits but where bones are concerned it can make them stronger and better protected from injury. Unfortunately many people don’t realize that their daily walk, aerobics class, swim or tennis game although have great benefits, don’t give their bones the type of exercise they require in regards to improving their bone density.

The osteoporosis foundation recommend people without osteoporosis do 30minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise, 4-5 times per week such as: running, jumping, high-impact aerobics, volleyball,  tennis, high-weight but low-repetition resistance exercises.

As my area of expertise is in the field of resistance or strength exercises, let me tell you what high-weight but low repetition resistance exercises are. When you are first starting out machine strength exercises are best as they often put less stress on joints and the weight and posture settings can be adjusted to suit the individual and their specific joint needs.  In this case you would want the resistance you are pushing and pulling to be challenging. For instance you might look at doing 2 sets of 10 repetitions of these exercises and find the 2nd set a challenge to get through.

On the other hand, people who already have osteoporosis are recommended to do 40-50 minutes of more low intensity exercises 4-5 times per week such as: tai-chi, walking, stair climbing, line dancing, low-weight, high repetition resistance exercises.  In this case their low-weight, high-repetition resistance or strength exercises could be those done with a theraband, machine weights that start at a low weight setting and of course, lighted weighted dumbbells.  You would be looking at doing maybe 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions where the exercise was a light effort.

In both situations I strongly recommend proper guidance and supervision at least in the initial stages of any resistance or strength program and that again is where my team and I at Coffs Coast Health Club come into it.  Please give me a call at the health club on 66586222 and I can organize you a free initial session with a trainer or you can come along and trial one of our classes specifically for older adults.

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