by Kim Knapp, PJCC Personal Trainer specializing in Strength Training and Osteoporosis Prevention
Did you know…
• Women can lose 3-6% of bone mass annually for the first 5 years following menopause.
• 50% of women over age 50 will have an osteoporotic fracture
• Within a year, 25-30% of hip fracture patients die or end up in a nursing home. This is preventable!
Many women begin working out in their 50s with the fear of losing bone density. But osteoporosis prevention should start much earlier in life to build bone mass and set the stage for healthy bones. Osteoporosis is preventable and reversible with early detection, strength training, weight bearing exercise, nutrition, and medical treatment.
An effective exercise program for osteoporosis prevention includes
• supervised strength training at appropriate joints and intensity
• weight bearing exercise
• safe core strengthening exercise
• balance and coordination
• postural exercises and flexibility
Specific exercises in these areas might include
• leg press
• weighted squats
• lat pull down
• seated rowing
• exercises that focus on the wrist, forearm, hip, and vertebrae
• glute bridges
• (not sit ups and crunches)
Exercises need to be adapted based on the needs of each client. Women often lift weights that are too low. The weights need to be heavy enough to provide the needed bone growth. (Dr. Stuart McGill, 2007)
And, because women often experience weight gain around mid-life, as muscle and bone mass decline and their metabolism decrease, a good exercise program for osteoporosis prevention can help maintain strength, lean mass, and metabolism to prevent weight gain.
So, don’t wait. The time to start is now!
Consult your doctor or trained instructor for a training plan for your personal needs. For early detection go to www.nof.org to assess your risk factors and have a bone density screening.