Did you know that strength training is good for your bones? I think this aspect of strength training is often overlooked, because we think of strength training as working our muscles. However, strength training also creates stress on our bones that increases bone density!
Approximately 8 million women and 2 million men in the US have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis occurs when creation of new bone cells can not keep up with the loss of old bone cells. This process naturally occurs as we age, which is why strength training is crucial to continue placing a load on our bones which will promote new bone cell growth.
It is important to note that high impact aerobic exercise such as running or jumping, is also great for increasing bone density. However, running and jumping is also harder on your joints and many people are unable to do these activities. Strength training is a great alternative option that does not require running or jumping, but the extra load is able to provide the stress on the bones that is needed to promote new cell growth. Strength training also allows you to target each area of the body that tends to fracture more easily due to low bone density, such as the hips, spine, and wrists. Squats, back extension, and pushups or high planks are great for targeting these three areas.
In conclusion, if you are someone who loves biking, walking, the elliptical, or any other low impact cardio, that’s great! However, make sure you are adding in a couple days a week of strength training to keep your bones strong!