Strengthen Your Bones No Matter What Your Age
For many people, one of the scariest parts of aging is the thought of their bones becoming weak and fragile.
Developing brittle bones may mean giving up favorite activities because those activities have become more dangerous. Some people feel they have to practically become hermits. Because they’re afraid they’re just one fall away from losing their independence.
Well, I have good news. A brand-new study from the Mayo Clinic shows there’s an easy way to strengthen your bones without the side effects linked to drugs.
A team at the clinic looked at the skeletal health of 589 men and women aged 20 to 97. And they found that there was a clear link between bone health and another factor.
Muscle mass. The more muscle people had relative to their height, the stronger their bones were at key points.
The team discovered that women tended to have stronger vertebrae, forearm and shin bones. Men appeared to have greater bone strength at all the points they measured.
To take advantage of this discovery, be sure you’re getting the right nutrients for building both muscle and bone.
To build muscle, you need plenty of lean protein. Vitamin C is important, too. You need plenty of vitamin C to make collagen, a protein critical for forming the tissues that connect muscle to bone.
Calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K are key nutrients for building bone. Magnesium, potassium and other minerals are also important.
To take advantage of these building blocks, forget spending hours on the treadmill. Resistance exercise builds muscle mass best. But don’t worry. I’m not talking about schlepping to the gym every morning. (Unless you want to.)
You can get an excellent resistance workout in the privacy of your living room. Here are just a few simple resistance exercises:
1) Sit about 2” from the back of a sturdy chair with arms. (Don’t use an overstuffed chair.) With your feet flat on the floor and your back straight, place your hands, palms down, on the chair’s arms. Using just your arms, raise your body off the seat of the chair as far as you can and then lower yourself back down gently. Work up to 10 – 15 repetitions.
2) Stand in the middle of a doorway, with your arms at your sides. Move both arms outward until the backs of your hands are touching the doorframe. Push outward on the frame as if you were trying to raise your arms even further. Maintain the pressure for about 10 seconds. Work up to 10 repetitions.
3) Standing in the same position as exercise #2, raise your hands over your head and rest your palms on the doorframe above your head. (Shorter folks may not be able to do this one.) Flex your knees very slightly. Keeping your back straight, push downward with your arms while you push up with your legs. Hold for 10 seconds and relax. Work up to 10 repetitions.
4) Fill two 1-gallon plastic jugs with 5# – 10# of sand each, depending on your starting strength. Be sure to put the same amount of sand in each. Stand with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart, with one jug on either side of your feet. With your arms resting comfortably at your sides, lower your body with your knees till you can grasp the jugs. Do so and stand up slowly. Lower yourself until the jugs are almost touching the floor and rise up again. Work up to 10 – 15 repetitions.
These are just a few simple muscle-building exercises, but there are many others you can do. About 20 – 30 minutes of resistance exercise 3 times a week is great.
The rest of the week, walk, play tennis, ride your bike or garden, anything that keeps you moving for 20 – 30 minutes. This weight-bearing exercise is key, because it signals your body to build more bone. Building muscle mass at the a same time will give you a “double advantage,” and help you keep your bones stronger, longer. Always check with your doctor first before starting an exercise regimen
Yours in good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 LeBrasseur, N.K., et al, “Skeletal muscle mass is associated with bone geometry and microstructure and serum IGFBP-2 levels in adult women and men,” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2012. Published online before print.