As the world population grows older, so does the incidence of age-related illnesses and, well, issues. Better diagnosis and drug treatments keep us alive longer, but, without our support and help, it doesn’t necessarily necessarily come with age quality. For that, life-style changes are the number one way to ensure a strong, happy good quality, life.
Why Do I want To Build My Bones? I Get My Prolia Shots!
Osteoporosis is called The Silent Killer. Osteoporosis is a “silent” disease because you typically do not have symptoms, and you may not even know you have the disease until you break a bone. It’s a killer because hip fractures are the leading cause of death in women over 65, 3rd to stroke. Osteoporosis is the major cause of fractures in postmenopausal women and in older men. Fractures can occur in any bone but happen most often in bones of the hip, vertebrae in the spine, and wrist. And while your shot may halt its progression, it’s not guaranteed. Bone rebuilding isn’t guaranteed either. And with any of the osteoporosis drugs, if you stop taking it you’ll suffer vastly accelerated bone loss. All the drugs have side effects, including bone cancer and other potentially severe consequences.
To be clear, nobody is telling you to stop taking any prescription. But the only side-effect of exercise is beneficial. You’re more likely to become injured by NOT exercising than by exercising.
What types Of Exercises Rebuild Bone Best?
Weight bearing exercises rebuild bone best! They work by generating ground reaction forces. In. other words, our bones need to be “shaken up” a bit to be encouraged to start forming new mass.
Even if you currently have an osteoporosis diagnosis the first exercise can be modified. Even if your T-score is 4.5 you can do this one. You’ll just need a chair or other support.
Exercise 1- Heel Drops
Rationale: Jumping exercises create the most vibration of all the movements necessary to rebuild bone. However, jumping can be difficult when we get older. Injuries, especially low back, knee, and hip injuries, cause pain as well as fear of further injuring ourselves. This is a vibrational exercise where you get to hold on, and you can actively control how hard you hit the ground.
Heel Drops. These are just what they say.
These are a great beginner way to get started, especially if you’ve had fractures, have issues with your knees or muscles, or who may be more fragile for one reason or another, a good modification of hopping is the heel drop. Lift up on your toes and then drop, striking the heel to the ground. It can be a gentle drop or a strong one, depending on the vigor you apply. You can use this with plantar’s as well. Be sure to use your muscles to modify how fast/firmly your heels strike the ground. Use a chair or the wall to further reduce pressure. As you gain foot and calf strength you’ll move forward. Be consistent! Start with 10, 2X/day. Work up to twice per day.
Exercise Two: Step Downs:
For these you need a step. Use a stair step or a book to start.
Start with a low step. Here again, you can control how hard your heel hits the ground by decreasing/increasing step height as well as the amount of force your heel hits the ground. Work up height slowly, let any pain or discomfort guide you.
Exercise 3: Jumping
If you’re over 60 you’ve probably been told not to jump. But think about this a minute, if you’re in good shape and you already are, say, running, or you play tennis or another sport, aren’t you jumping now? Hmmmm
So it’s not so much jumping, it’s being in good shape? Oh Okay!
Those researchers can really miss stuff, huh? So, these exercises also present a sequence that can help get you to a place where either jumping or at least more rigorous heel drops can work. And, if you add in more muscle building, you’ll increase strength and balance to perform jumps.
Jumping increases both bone strength and bone mass. Meaning it makes your bones both stronger and wider. We need both for optimal safety. Stronger wider bones will also load more weight, meaning you’ll have better ability to increase muscle mass, leading to far better life quality.
Lot’s of reasons to get there, huh?
To jump solely for bone health, perform 10 jumps with a 30 second rest between each jump. You want the rest period. The higher you can jump the more vibrations you’ll create so the rest period gives you time to reset and create height each jump. Do this 10 times, twice a day. Skipping and jumping rope also counts, as long as you can maintain good form. Running is good, but all research shows not as good as jumping.
How About A Rebounder/Mini Trampoline
Using a rebounder for bone health is almost like an urban legend. The 411 on this is it arises from the research NASA did in the 80s on how to maintain astronaut’s bone health in space’s zero-gravity environs. Bone mass without gravity would evaporate as fast as the oxygen up there. They did indeed research rebounders for bone health and found none benefit from them. There’s not a single study in this vein done by NASA that show’s positive bone mass or bone strength increases.
If you read that, or if a personal trainer tells you that, please ask for the citations. I’ve even seen a few doctor offices use this in their blogs, but when questioned, they said they told me to use google. Meaning they had none.
There is one rebounder that I personally use, there’s no scholarly studies done, but enough reviews showing positive T-score increases in even severe osteoporosis (T-score 4.5). The reviews mention that no medication was taken, but I, of, course, don’t know what else was done besides bounding on a Cellerciser. That’s the one I use, 10 minutes per day most days. I also walk and jump in some form daily.
Want to Know More?
Check out my new Ousting Osteoporosis: 6 months to the better bone mass. This is a comprehensive 6 month program designed to improve T-scores as well as improve balance, agility, muscle mass and balance. Comment below if interested in free information.