Benefits Of Strength Training In Older Women
It is no surprise that exercising is good for our health. Exercise helps to improve our mood and sleep, in addition to our physical health. When we are consistent with exercise, even just mild movement, we can begin to see consistent changes in many aspects of our life. However, while it is important for everyone to incorporate exercise into their daily routines, it is especially important for older women. Women are more prone to certain health conditions as they age, specifically osteoporosis.
In the case of a healthy individual, bone tissue is constantly going through a cycle of breaking down and rebuilding itself. Bone is dynamic; however, osteoporosis is a condition where the bone doesn’t rebuild itself, which then reduces the overall bone mass. When the density of our bones decreases, it makes us more prone to fractures. Even slight falls can lead to hair line fractures in our bones. This is because our bones are not as strong as they used to be and therefore can not handle as much stress as they would normally.
Osteoporosis is medically defined as a disease of the bones that causes bones to become weak and break down. There are many different reasons why osteoporosis can occur and it does not just occur in women, but also men. However as previously stated, women are far more prone to getting osteoporosis due to other factors. There are two main reasons why women develop this disease more than men and that is because women have thinner, less dense bones than men do and due to the production of estrogen, a hormone that helps to protect bones, which rapidly decreases during the onset of menopause.
Osteoporosis is diagnosed through a bone density test performed by your doctor. The results will indicate how strong and or weak your bones are. Doctors can also use a screening tool that can predict your risk for developing osteoporosis.
If osteoporosis is left untreated it can lead to some serious complications; mainly bone fractures. The hip and the spine are two of the most common areas that experience these fractures and both may require surgery to fix. This injuries are also caused by minor incidents. It does not take a big accident to cause these fractures due to the weakened condition of the bones. Even just bumping into furniture can cause these fractures.
As women age, the risk for developing osteoporosis increases. However, age and gender are not the only factors that contribute to the risk for developing osteoporosis. Below are a few risk factors that increase a person’s risk for developing osteoporosis.
You may be at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis if:
- You are past menopause
- Have a small and thin body shape
- Have a family history of osteoporosis
- Do not get enough Calcium, Magnesium and/or vitamin D
- Consume too much alcohol
- Do not get enough physical activity
One of the most effective things that you can do to prevent the development of osteoporosis is performing strength training exercise. Strength training is the process of performing exercises with weight resistance which includes weight lifting. Incorporating mild to moderate weight into your daily workouts can help to decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis. You do not need to lift super heavy weights in order to decrease your risk, simply including even 2-5 pound weights can make a difference. However, as you progress along your strength training journey, it is important to continue to increase your weight when you begin to feel it gets too light. By performing strength training exercises you are helping to increase the density and overall strength of your bones. This helps to make them less brittle and prone to injuries.
It is important for everyone to be aware of the conditions that they may be more prone to—this way you can begin to take the proper precautions against developing these conditions. Osteoporosis is one of the conditions that when an individual becomes aware of, they can begin to take action to prevent or reverse it. The first step to preventing osteoporosis is learning more about it and then taking action to make yourself stronger.
In summary, osteoporosis is a condition that affects the density of bones, making them weaker and more prone to fractures. Women are more likely to develop the disease due to the fact that they have thinner bones in general and they go through a process called menopause. One of the best ways to prevent the development of osteoporosis is performing strength training exercises in an effort to strengthen the bones. Osteoporosis is a condition that can be prevented if the proper precautions are taken and the precautions are not invasive. Regardless of your possible risk for developing osteoporosis, begin incorporating strength training into your workout and see the differences that it can bring to not only your mental health, but your physical heath.