What do you mean weight bearing exercise won’t prevent osteoporosis? That’s right, what you have read in the paper, what your fitness trainer told you, and what your doctor told you is false with a capital F. The reason why it’s false is because people don’t understand what weight bearing exercise means.
Weight bearing exercise is any exercise activity that involves bearing your OWN weight (standing or any activity where you are on your feet). It does not mean lifting weights. Lifting weights, while beneficial for other reasons that can help combat injuries related to osteoporosis, is not in of itself a method that can prevent osteoporosis. Weight bearing (meaning on your feet) exercise helps prevent osteoporosis because there is a significant amount of force compressing your bones. This force is generated by your weight and how quickly you move that weight. It’s this compression that tells your body to keep your bones strong so that it can handle the weight your throwing around (no pun intended).
So keeping this in mind, please make the most of your exercise efforts and select an exercise regimen or activity that incorporates you on your feet.
Here’s a few suggestions:
-Walking: This is a great activity; especially for people that don’t like to exercise, are not very fit, or have physical limitations that prevent them from taking exercise classes.
– Go Jump in a pool: It may sound juvenile since its usually just kids that do it, but spend an hour jumping in a pool. Years ago, my Temple University professor suggested that this would be a great activity because the jumping action significantly increases the pressure on your bones while the landing has no impact and little chances of causing an njury.
– Dancing: Dancing is a fabulous activity that is not only good for osteoporosis prevention, but also improves balance and coordination. Also, if your like my wife it will put a huge smile on your face for the rest of the day too.
– Group exercise classes: That is the classes that put you on your feet. Not one of those classes that put you on a matt or even worse in a chair (I think sitting on your head would make more sense; just kidding). Zumba is the hot and trendy new class today, but any weight bearing exercise will do.
Before you start any exercise regimen, consult your doctor or healthcare professional.
Now that you have the knowledge, get moving (on your feet that is) and please tell a few friends too!