BONE Den­sity & Weight TRAIN­ING

Great Health Guide - - FRONT PAGE - Words Michael Der­man­sky De­sign Olek­san­dra Zuieva

Get­ting older and los­ing bone den­sity is in­evitable, isn’t it? Over the last few years, more re­search has shown that there are def­i­nite steps you can put in place to min­imise and in some cases, re­verse this process.

As we grow as chil­dren and young adults, our body lays down bone and in­creases our bone den­sity, which peaks in our late twen­ties/early thir­ties. This process is de­pen­dent on what type of ex­er­cise we do in our early life, diet and ge­net­ics. Af­ter this age, there is a nat­u­ral de­cline, which ac­cel­er­ates af­ter menopause.

SO, WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS NAT­U­RAL DE­CLINE IN BONE DEN­SITY AS WE AGE?

1. Weight bear­ing ex­er­cise. This is one of the big­gest fac­tors that we can con­trol. In the last few years, re­search has shown that ex­er­cises in clas­si­cal strength train­ing, such as dead­lifts, squats, can have a sig­nif­i­cant stim­u­lus on the bones which help main­tain and some­times im­prove bone den­sity. The load on the bone needs to be a lit­tle bit harder than you ex­pect, there­fore these ex­er­cises should re­ally be su­per­vised by a well-trained and qual­i­fied ex­er­cise pro­fes­sional, such as a phys­io­ther­a­pist, ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist to avoid in­jury and to gain the max­i­mum ben­e­fit.

2. Ap­pro­pri­ate amounts of cal­cium in your diet. Hav­ing enough cal­cium in your diet is no a guar­an­tee that these ma­te­ri­als will be laid down as bone in the body. How­ever not hav­ing enough cal­cium in your diet will mean that there may not be enough build­ing blocks for your body to build the best ma­trix and im­prove bone den­sity. The recommended daily in­take for women and men is 1000mg/day, which in­creases to 1200mg/day af­ter the age of 50 for women and af­ter the age of 70 for men.

3. Ask your doc­tor to test your bone den­sity. It is im­por­tant to know where you stand at any point in time and any ac­tion that may need to be taken. A bone den­sity test is not in­va­sive and is a mea­sure­ment of the hip and spine by a cen­tral DXA ma­chine, to di­ag­nose os­teo­poro­sis. DXA stands for dual en­ergy x-ray ab­sorp­tiom­e­try. Your

bone den­sity test re­sults are reported us­ing T-scores that com­pares how much your bone den­sity is higher or lower than the bone den­sity of a healthy 30-year old adult. A T-score of -1.0 or above is nor­mal bone den­sity and the lower a per­son’s T-score, the lower is the bone den­sity.

4. Med­i­ca­tions. There are dif­fer­ent med­i­ca­tions avail­able, de­pend­ing on where your bone den­sity T score is com­pared to the ex­pected den­sity for your age. As med­i­ca­tions and knowl­edge about os­teo­poro­sis are chang­ing all the time, reg­u­larly see­ing your doc­tor and hav­ing a bone den­sity per­formed, gives you the best chance of be­ing right on top of your best med­i­cal man­age­ment and the best chance of hav­ing a good long-term out­come.

There is much that can be done to max­imise your bone health and look af­ter your bone health for the long term. This is a rapidly grow­ing area of knowl­edge and op­tions with an ex­cit­ing fu­ture for all.

Michael Der­man­sky is a Se­nior Phys­io­ther­a­pist and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of MD Health Pi­lates. Michael has over seven­teen years’ ex­pe­ri­ence of treat­ing clients from all walks of life, from sixyear-old chil­dren up to the age of 92. Michael can be con­tacted through his web­site.

RE­SEARCH SHOWS THAT STRENGTH TRAIN­ING CAN HAVE A SIG­NIF­I­CANT STIM­U­LUS ON THE BONES WHICH HELP MAIN­TAIN & SOME­TIMES IM­PROVE BONE DEN­SITY

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