Women typically have smaller and thinner bones than men. They also store less calcium in the body and lose it at a higher rate.
The Health of Your Bones
Moreover, as they reach menopause, the levels of estrogen in the body, which protects the bones, drop. This leads to loss of bone mass.
Women, therefore, are more prone to bone injuries and diseases. Osteoporosis, in particular, is a serious problem faced by more women than men. It is a chronic condition in which the bone tissue breaks down faster than it is produced, leading to reduced bone mass and increasing the risk of fractures. Women are four times more likely than men to be diagnosed with osteoporosis.
However, it can be avoided. A balanced diet, including the consumption of milk and other dairy products that are rich in calcium, can decrease the impact of age to bone health. Those who want to have strong bones should consume more protein which makes up to 50 percent of bone volume. Aside from lean meats, milk also provides protein. Certain manufacturers add milk proteins to improve nutrition as well as favor to various food products. Beans and nuts also provide protein to the body.
Moreover, you can exercise your way to strong and healthy bones. Here are the activities that will benefit your bones the most.
Walking and Hiking
Walking and hiking are good cardiovascular exercises which you can do almost anywhere. The weight-bearing nature of these activities work to strengthen your bones — the more strenuous, the better.
It is also simple enough for people at any age group and fitness level to engage in such sports. Seniors can reap the bone benefits of walking and hiking despite old age. They can start slowly to build their endurance and then eventually increase the pace and intensity of their workouts as they get used to the activity.
Moreover, being outside gives them their daily dose of vitamin D, another nutrient important for strong bones. Vitamin D protects the bones by helping absorb calcium and phosphorus.
Swimming and Water Aerobics
According to the Arthritis Foundation, swimming is a good form of exercise for seniors because it allows them to engage in aerobic activities without putting stress on the joints.
Aerobic exercises such as swimming strengthen bones by enhancing bone mineral density. They also prevent osteoporosis by strengthening muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the limbs. Swimming is one of the most popular leisure activities all over the world since almost everyone knows how to swim. It benefits the heart as well as bones because it can help reduce weight without compromising muscle mass or bone strength.
Jumping rope works similar to walking and hiking, but this is even more effective for building strong bones. It also works the muscles of the hips and legs that give support to your spine.
Jumping rope can be done anywhere without the need for special equipment or set up. It is also easy to learn and requires no previous experience.
Most people think that jumping rope is only beneficial to weight loss, but it has many health benefits as well. It keeps the heart healthy by increasing its capacity over time because of aerobic activity. Jumping rope can also reduce stress and anxiety, lower cholesterol levels, and improve blood pressure.
Once you get used to jumping rope, you can increase the number of minutes and/or the frequency of your workout.
Dancing is similar to jumping rope in that it is easy to learn and can be done by almost anyone. It also works the muscles of your legs, hips, and back just like walking and hiking.
Aside from aerobic activities, dancing strengthens the muscles around the spine and bones in order to protect against fractures or injuries caused by falls.
For those who are starting out, dancing is a low-impact activity that does not cause discomfort. Moreover, it does not require special equipment or large space. All you need is enough room for your body to practice moves and some music you can groove to.
Mixed Martial Arts
If strength training sounds too daunting, the most popular MMA fighting styles can help build a strong frame for bones. Boxing, wrestling, and martial arts in general work to increase bone mineral density, improve balance and coordination, and strengthen the muscles around the spine which shield against injuries from falls.
To reap its benefits for your bones, you have to engage in these activities regularly. However, if you’re already experiencing bone-related problems, it’s advisable to speak to a doctor before starting any workout.