Like it or not, aging is part of life, and with aging come many challenges that negatively affect one’s health and fitness. One such ailment that has affected over 10 million Americans is Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by decreased bone mass and the loss of bone tissue. The name literally means, “porous bones,” or “holes in bones.” That doesn’t sound too nice now does it?
Osteoporosis is characterized by the progressive thinning of the bones in your body. This results in weak brittle bones, which can be extremely susceptible to fracture. Sufferers of osteoporosis commonly see such fractures in the hip and spine. Injuries in these parts of the human body greatly affect their health and fitness level. Osteoporosis-related injuries can often work for long periods of time, sometimes causing hospitalization.
Though 10 million Americans actually have Osteoporosis, studies show an additional 34 million people suffer with low bone mass and thus likely to produce the condition because they grow older (according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation). These same studies assert that the cost of osteoporosis-related fractures will add up to $25 billion by 2025. A standard misconception is that Osteoporosis is a condition that only affects the health and fitness of elderly people. While it is true that the symptoms of this disease often don’t manifest themselves in people under the age of 50, the condition often begins much earlier.
What can cause this common, painful and debilitating condition? Like every other part of your system, bones are living tissue, consisting of cells. These cells both build and breakdown bone. Think of it in this manner, bones are perpetually in the act of remodeling. This method happens within what is called the extracellular matrix. The composition with this matrix determines the effectiveness Summit Hill of one’s bones. By about the age of 30, bone reaches its peak in strength and density. From this point, bone strength and density gradually decreases, sometimes to dangerous levels, as in the case of osteoporosis.
Though the gradually weakening of one’s bones is inevitable, you can find ways to prevent the more damaging consequences osteoporosis. One central ingredient in the prevention of osteoporosis is making the commitment to enhance your level of health and fitness. Studies show that fitness exercises that force one to work against gravity are very beneficial in slowing bone loss. When one engages in weight training, force is placed on the bone. This creates the necessary stimulus for new bone formation. Put simply, physical exercise not just increases muscle health and fitness levels, but it addittionally increases bone mass!
What type of fitness exercises are we discussing here? Resistance training refers to resistance creating exercises such as for example the use of dumbbells, rubber tubing, kettle bells or the various machines offered at health and fitness centers. To ascertain the best fitness routine for you, it is best to consult your own trainer. He or she will guide you towards what exercises will soon be best effective for your system type and life situation.
Building strong bones through physical fitness is probably the best defense against the development of osteoporosis. Whatever your age, it’s never too late to create an investment in your quality of life and fitness. In creating a small investment of your own time and energy today, you will soon be making an essential part of preventing a physically debilitating condition in the future and anticipate a longer healthier life!