What do we think when we see a magnificent old building still standing tall? We usually make a comment to the effect of that building having a great foundation. Our bones make up our skeleton, which is our foundation, and for us to continue standing tall in our own magnificence, we need to continually be improving our foundation – our bone density.
The key to improving your bone density is strength training. Building muscle directly increases bone density by putting increased stress on the bones, making them stronger, healthier, and less prone to fractures and breaks. Not only does increased bone density slow the devastating bone loss associated with getting older, it also helps to counteract any future loss by building additional bone matter.
How – You Ask?
Muscle building spurs the osteoblasts which are the crucial cells responsible for building new bone mineral. Your new muscle mass will also serve to protect your bones, guarding them against injury and cushioning the blow in case of a fall.
There are numerous benefits from resistance training to improve bone density, which to name but a few, are increased bone mineral density, increased strength, and an increased ability to perform activities. You can read more from a recent study “The Benefits of Strength Training for Bone Density”
And if your curiosity has been piqued, have you ever wondered why young astronauts often have the bones of much older people? To further prove our position that supports resistance training, astronauts lose bone mass rapidly because their bones aren’t working against the force of gravity on Earth while floating in space. You can read about this phenomenon.
It is an accepted fact in the field of orthopedics that resistance training serves as the core of any successful, healthy conditioning program. This is true for people of all ages, from adolescents to senior citizens. Enhanced strength through resistance training helps to stabilize and protect the body’s joints. This not only prevents injury, but improves performance. It has the added benefit of reducing stress on arthritic joints in the older population, which results in reduced symptoms and increased function. And for overall health, the lean muscle it generates plays a vital role in metabolizing and “burning” excess body fat. (Excerpt by Fulton C. Kornack, MD., Clinical Faculty in Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School, The Power of 10)