Bone Density. It might not be the first thing you put on your New Year’s resolution goals, but it’s an important part of overall healthy living. Many of us realize that strength training (free weights, weight machines, and/or resistance bands) may help build and maintain muscle mass and strength. A lesser known fact is that strong muscles lead to strong bones.
Strength training is very effective at increasing bone density. According to NASM, when a weight or load greater than gravity is placed repeatedly on your bones, they react to the stress by getting bigger and stronger. This is called weight bearing exercise and is the best way to improve and protect your bone density. In addition, regular strength training contributes to better balance and helps reduce the risk of joint injury.
Strength training, especially weight training is extremely effective for improving and increasing bone density even in older and elderly populations. By placing controlled stress on your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of fracture due to osteoporosis.
How often to see results?
To maximize protection, NASM recommends engaging in resistance and strength training a minimum of 2-3 times per week.
However, there’s great news for people with a limited time schedule. Research from the German scientist Wolfgang Kemmler reveal that 2 hours per week of high-impact strength-training exercises done over the years on a regular basis is enough to favorably impact bone density, significantly reducing the rate of aging bone loss.
So, “bone up” on your strength training in 2019 and get an added health bonus!