Can Your Bones Last a Lifetime: Exercising Wisely to Strengthen Bones

From the March 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

Rather than letting your bones weaken as you age, you can strengthen them and keep them strong.

Our bones are composed of a porous network of calcified bridges called a trabecula network, which under an electron microscope looks like the inside of a sponge. This network of connecting bridges continually breaks and rebuilds with normal wear and tear as a result of the activities of daily living.

When use and weight-bearing activities are increased, many of these bridges break, but then are rebuilt—thicker and stronger. In fact, they grow and thicken in response to the stresses placed on them. With little muscle stress on the joint, they lose density and become thin and fragile. The strength and density of bone over time is directly proportional to the muscle strength moving that fulcrum. Just as muscles build with regular exercise, the bone strengthens too, right along with the muscle. In fact, a good test for bone strength is muscle strength.

Unfortunately, most women in America and other modern countries have relatively sedentary lives. Even women who do regular exercise and walk are susceptible, since most popular exercises do not adequately stress the spine with enough stimuli for bone growth. Having a healthy, erect spine is extremely important for digestion and overall health. Activities that exercise and strengthen the spine include digging, shoveling, carrying toddlers, using rowing machines, and doing back extension exercises. Scientific studies also have demonstrated that wearing a weighted vest can have a powerful protective effect.1

Here’s more on this topic:
1. Greendale GA, Salem GJ, Young JT, et al. A randomized trial of weighted vest use in ambulatory older adults: strength, performance, and quality of life outcomes. J Am Geriatr Soc 2000 48(3):305-11. Greendale, GA, Hirsh SH, Hahn TJ. The effect of a weighted vest on perceived health status and bone density in older persons. Qual Life Res 1993 2(2):141-52. Shaw JM, Snow CM. Weighted vest exercise improves indices of fall risk in older women. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 1998 53(1):M53-8. Long-term exercise using weighted vests prevents hip bone loss in postmenopausal women. J Gerontol A Bio Sci Med 2000;55(9):M489-91.
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Betty Diaz - November 10, 2007 1:55 PM

What if I already have osteoporosis? Can I reverse Osteoporosis naturally without medication or is it too late? What would happen if I stop medications like Boniva & Flosomax and just eat healthy as Dr. Fuhrman's diet suggests?

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