3 crucial bone density boosting exercises for women 

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About 1 in 3 women in SA will suffer from “the silent crippler” a.k.a. osteoporosis – a disease that reduces the density of bones and can lead to a weaker skeleton, often resulting in an increased risk of fractures, particularly of the spine, wrists, hip, pelvis and upper arms. 

In fact, up to 50% of women over 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. But why are women so prone to weak bones? Women generally reach their peak bone mass around the age of 30, while men get there later. Since females start with lower peak bone mass, they have less reserve to rely on as they age, which often sets the stage for a higher risk of bone density problems. 

Besides eating a healthy diet, one of the best things you can do for your bones is to strengthen them with the right exercises. Try these three types of exercises to help boost your bone density, which in turn will keep you feeling fitter and stronger for much longer:

Weight-bearing aerobic activity: This includes activities such as walking/jogging, hiking, dancing, and even climbing stairs. It is recommended that women get at least half an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise 5 times a week, but 45 minutes to an hour is even better.

Resistance: Resistance exercise includes free weights or weight machines at home or in the gym. All Virgin Active clubs have a large weights section, and seeking the help of a Personal Trainer to individualise your programme is recommended. For best results, resistance exercises can be done 2 or 3 times a week. Make the exercise more challenging by gradually adding weight or repetitions and be sure to work different muscles, including arms, chest, shoulders, legs, stomach, and back. Remember to give each muscle group time to recover.

Flexibility: Having flexible joints helps prevent injury. Examples of flexibility exercises for bone health include activities with regular stretches. A yoga class is a great way to get flexibility exercise with the help of an expert.

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