You may only think about osteoporosis and its complications, such as bone fractures, as a problem for older adults. Even in your mid-30s your body starts losing bone density and this process can be exacerbated if you do not have adequate nutrition, chronic diseases, or live a sedentary lifestyle. Starting lifestyle changes early can reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
Create A Strong Core
Everything begins with a strong core since your axial skeleton contains your spine and pelvic girdle, making sitting, standing, and walking possible. Many people only think about their abdominal muscles when strengthening their core, but your back muscles need to be equally strong. Simple ways you can improve core strength are to focus on your posture during daily activities. When you are sitting or standing, you likely slouch because your back and abdominal muscles are weak. Actively sit and stand upright with your head, neck, and shoulders in a neutral position. Contracting your abdominal muscles will naturally engage your core and force you into a better posture. Doing short bursts of core-building exercises throughout the day will become easier as your core becomes stronger. Over time, you should engage your core muscles and have better posture without thinking.
The thought of high-intensity exercise may sound intimidating, but fortunately you do not need lengthy training sessions to maintain or increase bone strength. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one example of a high-intensity workout that is not lengthy. The goal is to have sporadic bursts of high-intensity exercises combined with rest periods or periods of lower-intensity exercise. You can integrate these bursts into numerous types of exercises, such as weight lifting, walking, or swimming. If you can only walk, start walking at your normal pace for a few minutes, then walk at full speed for a minute or two. Keep alternating the intensity level. Other ways you can alter the intensity, depending on the workout, is to increase resistance or weight. When the bones must bear more weight or deal with the added stress of higher intensity exercise, it stimulates increases in bone density and strength.
Mimic Daily Activities
Part of maintaining or increasing bone strength is to maintain functional fitness as you age. Mimic normal activities you do throughout the day and integrate them into your bone-building workout. For example, climbing the stairs can become harder as you grow older, so walking up and down the stairs in your home or by using a stair-climbing machine can help. Other examples include the task of carrying groceries. You might have a couple of laundry detergent bottles and carry them back and forth for exercise. Squat to pick up the laundry detergent bottles, carry them up the stairs, squat to sit them down, and repeat the process. Challenge yourself to do as many trips as you can before the rinse cycle.
Osteoporosis and its complications can be difficult to overcome once the condition occurs. Doing what you can starting in your 30s may help you preserve your functional fitness and decrease the likelihood of serious fractures later in life. Contact a company, like Radius, for more help.