As women age, hormonal changes cause loss of bone mass, putting them at risk for osteoporosis, decreased muscle mass and the chance of a serious bone fracture.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation:
- Of the estimated 10 million Americans who have osteoporosis, eight million—80 percent—are women.
- Approximately one in two women older than age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
- A woman’s risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
But there is good news. A strength training program will not only strengthen bones, but also either reduce the chance of osteoporosis or slow down its effects. Building muscle helps protect joints and boost balance and coordination, no matter what your age.
Only about 20 percent of women practice strength training weekly, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Women of all ages should consider starting a strength training routine and it’s not complicated to start.
- Use your body weight as resistance. Try push-ups, squats and bicep curls.
- Use free weights: This means anything from dumbbells at home to weight bars and barbells at the gym.
- Do circuit training. This is a form of resistance training using high-intensity aerobics to build strength and muscular endurance. Most gyms offer machines that target different muscles in the body.
- Use elastic exercise bands
- Practice yoga and pilates
Check with your health care provider before beginning any weight-lifting routine. Generally, people choose a resistance level that makes the muscles feel tired after eight to 12 repetitions. Begin with one set of repetitions and work up to two or three sets of repetitions over time.
At M&M Physical Therapy, we always recommend consulting with your physical therapist or physician before embarking on an intense exercise program
Call us today to schedule your appointment 856-234-4600.