By Jeff Tomaszewski, Chief Life Transformer, MaxStrength Fitness
Current estimations reveal that there are more than 52 million women and men with either osteoporosis or low bone mass. If current trends continue, the figure will climb to more than 61 million by 2020. It’s a widespread condition in which the bone loses its density, putting you at risk of fractures, the most common being the wrist, hip and spine. The worst aspect of osteoporosis is that there is no warning. By the time it’s diagnosed, it’s generally too late as the first sign of the condition is often a broken bone after a minor fall.
Representatives from large pharmaceutical companies have claimed so called “bone drugs” are the solution. Side effects from these drugs include upset stomach, inflammation of the esophagus, jaw osteonecrosis (rotting of the jaw bone), severe muscle, joint, and/or bone pain, and “unusual” femur fractures, not to mention atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm that can cause a rapid heartbeat).
Therefore, be very careful if considering these drugs as a course of action.
The Good News!
Many popular magazines sing the praises of various “weightbearing” activities as a means of halting and reversing bone loss. This would be nice, but general activity will do very little to reverse bone loss. We do however know that human bone will adapt to a stimulus provided from progressively loaded strength training exercise. This exercise starts at the muscles and goes down to the bones; it affects all of the connective tissue in between, making for a more resilient drive train.
The solution to the Osteoporosis dilemma is progressive strength training.
The health benefits of high-intensity strength training are far-reaching and impressive. There is evidence to suggest that high-intensity strength training can increase our bone mass and bone strength, and help prevent loss of bone mineral density as we age. This is exciting news, especially as significant improvements in bone health can be achieved from just two 20-minute sessions of high-intensity strength training per week.
How can high-intensity strength training help improve our bone health?