The role of the skeletal system is often underappreciated, with our bones serving 5 important functions; support, storage of minerals & lipids, blood cell formation, movement/leverage, and protection. Yet, as we age our bones become weaker, with osteoporosis a common form of skeletal disease characterised by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue, thereby increasing bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture. Generally speaking, our bone mass peaks during our mid-20’s and begins to gradually decline over the age of 30 years. Unfortunately for the ladies this decline becomes even more rapid during menopause, causing females to have a heightened risk of poor bone health and osteoporosis.
So, what about the good news? Well, lucky for us, bones respond very positively to exercise! In terms of what specific types of exercise/activity to perform, the key is loading. Specifically, weight-bearing activities such as brisk walking, hiking & jogging, resistance exercise using machines, bodyweight & free weights, and high impact activities including skipping, jogging, jumping, netball and basketball, are all great ways to strengthen the skeleton.
Finally, strive to be proactive and take steps to strengthen your bones NOW, thereby minimising the risk of poor bone health across the lifespan. Although we don’t get the same visual satisfaction like we do reducing body fat and building muscle, make it a priority to include some of the recommended exercise on a weekly basis and your lifelong strong skeleton will thank you later!
Healthy Bones Action Week (HBAW): 1st-7th August 2016
For more information visit: http://www.healthybonesaustralia.org.au