Want it or not, aging is part of life, and with aging come many challenges that negatively affect one’s health and fitness. One ailment that has affected over 10 million Americans is Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by decreased bone mass and the increased 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, that is 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 amounts of time, sometimes leading to hospitalization.
Though 10 million Americans actually have Osteoporosis, studies show an additional 34 million people suffer from low bone mass and thus likely to produce the condition as they grow older (according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation). These same studies assert that the expense of osteoporosis-related fractures will total $25 billion by 2025. A common misconception is that Osteoporosis is a condition that only affects the health and fitness of elderly people. Whilst it does work that the symptoms of this disease often don’t manifest themselves in people under age 50, the condition often begins much earlier.
The causes of this common, painful and debilitating condition? Like every other part of your body, bones are living tissue, consisting of cells. These cells both build and break up bone. Think of it in this way, bones are perpetually along the way of remodeling. This technique occurs within what’s called the extracellular matrix. The composition of this matrix determines the effectiveness of one’s bones Jennifer. By about age 30, bone reaches its peak in strength and density. From this aspect, bone strength and density gradually decreases, sometimes to dangerous levels, as in the case of osteoporosis.
Although the gradually weakening of your respective bones is inevitable, there are ways to prevent the more damaging consequences osteoporosis. One central ingredient in the prevention of osteoporosis is making the commitment to improve 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 strength training, force is put on the bone. This creates the necessary stimulus for new bone formation. In other words, physical exercise not merely increases muscle health and fitness levels, but it addittionally increases bone mass!
What sort of fitness exercises are we talking about here? Strength training refers to resistance creating exercises such as the usage of dumbbells, rubber tubing, kettle bells or the many machines offered by health and fitness centers. To find out the best fitness routine for you, it is most beneficial to consult an individual trainer. He or she will guide you towards what exercises will be best effective for your body type and life situation.
Building strong bones through physical fitness is probably the best defense against the development of osteoporosis. Whatever your age, it is never too late to create an investment in your health and fitness. In building a small investment of your own time and energy today, you will be making an important part of preventing a physically debilitating condition later on and look forward to an extended healthier life!