How To Become More Resilient to Weak Bones
This is the third post in my 3 part series to help women over 50 be healthy…enough to do all they want to do in life.
If you haven’t yet, make sure you read my first blog What is Bone Health and Why It Matters and second How to Prevent Bone Loss
In this blog I’m going to assume that you’ve already been diagnosed with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia and talk about risky things to do. If you’re bones are still good (make sure you take my Osteoporosis Risk Assessment) these tips will help ANYONE reduce their risk of a fracture by becoming more resilient overall.
Here are my 3 things you can do to create a more resilient body.
- Improve your strength or muscle mass
- Improve your balance
- Improve your posture
You may also want to talk to your doctor about reducing and “bone risky” activities. No more tight rope walking?
The “right” kind of exercise KEY!
For everyone it’s important to exercise but for us over 50 the right kind is key and there are ones to avoid if you already have osteoporosis
THE RIGHT KIND
WEIGHT BEARING Weight-bearing exercise is physical activity we perform while on our feet and legs that works the muscles and bones against gravity. Walking, running, dancing, jumping, hiking (this is not swimming, or even biking)
MUSCLES STRENGTHENING Anything that you do to work your muscles (and bones) against resistance. With weights, bands, you body weight.
STABILITY AND BALANCE PROMOTING Exercise that challenges your balance, improves your spinal strength, promotes good posture, strengthens your core are perfect for creating a resilient body. How is your balance? Take my test here How to test your balance
THE WRONG KIND
EXTREME HIGH IMPACT Activities such as jumping, running or jogging are great for building bones but can lead to fractures in weakened bones. Avoid jerky, rapid movements in general. Choose exercises with slow, controlled movements. But if you’re fit and have been doing this type of exercise, you might be ok just don’t start any new high impact, rapid movement exercise if you have osteoporosis.
BENDING OR FORWARD FLEXION Yay not more sit-ups! There are so many other ways to build your core you don’t need to do these. Watch rounding your spine as it could to spine fractures.
FALL RISK ACIVITIES Be aware of activities that might make you fall. Box jumps in CrossFit, skiing, Tight rope,
FORECFUL SPINAL TWISTING Be careful of twisting or activities that cause you to twist forcefully at the waist like golf, tennis, pickle ball. Again if you’ve been doing these things for awhile your muscles may be strong enough to protect your bones.
If you’re not sure talk to your doctor. What I don’t want to do is scare you and keep you from having fun and being active. Now let’s talk about weight bearing because so many people ask me about this.
I shared this slide in How To Prevent Bone Loss and it’s so good because it helps me explain why strength training is so important! Not only does it have the biggest bang for your buck in building bone density it’s also the best for building strong muscles and strong muscles will help you create a more resilient body.
But so many women I know run screaming from. These are the excuses I hear.
😒 “I don’t want to bulk up”
😒 “I don’t want to hurt myself”
😒 “I’m too old”
😒 “I don’t know how”
These excuses or myths are so untrue and I debunk them all in this blog What’s Your Excuse For Not Strength Training
The MANY Benefits of Strength Training
Strength training is a passion of mine because I know first hand there are so many benefits In fact I created a whole video Benefits of Strength Training
We start to lose muscle and bone in our 30s because of hormone changes. You already know how it can help your bones. With lifting heavy weights you actually tear down the muscles so they can recover and become stronger. Muscles burn 3 times more calories than fat so the more muscle you have the more calories you burn even at rest. Strong muscle support us better so our balance, stability, posture are better and with more support joint pain may be reduced.
And lastly and most importantly strong muscle help you do all the things you love to do with ease!
For maximum benefits get a good strength training workout in 2 times a week with 1-2 days of recovery time in between.
KEEP THAT SPINE TALL
Fix those daily poor posture habits check out this free video on my top 4 tips to prevent poor posture
✅ No Forward Head while looking at your phone. Get that head up!
✅ Make sure your computer monitor is at eye level
✅ Keep your shoulders back as often as you can.
Stretch Your Chest Taking time to stretch the muscles in your chest is important. With our shoulders forward all the time these muscles become so tight.
Strengthen Your Back Muscles The muscles in the back need to be strong to pull you into better posture automatically and to protect your entire spine.
Strengthen Your Core Finally, good core strength can also help protect the spine. This is tricky, because you want to avoid exercises like crunches, bicycles, sit-ups, that can actually be damaging. I have several osteoporosis safe core workouts and 3 7 day workout plans (level 1, 2, 3) in my Osteoporosis Fitness Program
BTW? How is your posture right now? Get that chin up, shoulders back and down, abs slightly engages.
PRACTICE YOUR BALANCE EVERYDAY!
Now let’s talk about balance because it is critically important. If you have good balance, you are less likely to fall not if but when you trip.
I have a balance test I will shared above. Try this and see how you compare to people you own age.
In general I ask all my clients and members to work on their balance every day.
👍 Try doing it throughout your day when you are brushing your teeth, when you’re doing dishes or standing in line. you will notice a difference in a short time. (Now please make sure you do this safely)
👍 In your workouts try the moves on one leg (I do this in many of may balance workout videos)
👍When those things get easy or if you did really good in my balance test make them harder. Try an exercise ball or a BOSU (although I do not have one of these yet),.
👍 Make it fun – while you’re out walking try walking heel to toe or on the curb or play a balance game with your grandkids
HOW TO FIT ALL OF THIS IN?
I know what you’re saying….Strength workouts twice a week, balance, posture, core, how do I fit this all in?
It’s really not complicated and here is my basic plan and I follow it in My Osteoporosis Fitness program and most programs I do for that matter.
Monday and Friday are strength training days – you do not need to do this 3 times a week because it’s going to be challenging and you need your recovery time. Exercise should make you feel good not hurt or beat up
Tuesday and Thursday is cardio I like HIIT Cardio or High Intensity Interval training as I’ve learned it’s the most effective for hormone balancing…I have a video called the BEST cardio for women over 50
Wednesday is a focused core day because it’s so important. I love Pilates as it works deep core muscles.
Saturday have some fun do something you love to do as long as it’s active for 30 or more minutes.
Sunday recovery day. You could rest, foam roll, get a massage, do one of my active recovery days workouts. Remember you have strength day on Monday.
If you need any help with this I have hundreds of workout videos designed just for us.
MORE WAYS TO PREVENT FALLS
There are an estimated 2 million people who fall and injure themselves enough to go the emergency room each year. 500,000 result in hospital stays.
Having good lower body strength and balance can reduce your risk of falling. AND there are things you should think about.
Stop multi-tasking and pay attention to where you are walking and what you are doing. Slow down, don’t walk and look at that phone.
Take a look around your home. Do you have throw rugs that are all over? Pick them up and put them away. What about pets? We love them, but why do they love to hang around our feet. Keep your eyes open for them.
Speaking of eyes, get your eyes checked! Vision plays an important role in preventing falls.
Most falls happen at night – and guess where – in the bathroom. Get a night light and use it.
If you are taking four or more medications, you are at a higher risk for falls. Talk with your doctor about the medications you are taking and if all of them are necessary? Make sure they are not interacting with each other in a negative way.
Summary of How to Create A Resilient Body
✅ Make weight-bearing, strength builing, balance and posture exercises a part of your workout plans (check out my new Osteoporosis Fitness Program
✅Reduce your risk of falling or anything that could hurt brittle bones
✅Talk with your Doctor. Know your risk for fractures, get screened and diagnosed.
Love your bones to protect your future!
😁 How will you use this information I just shared in these 3 blogs?
😁 What 1 thing can you do tonight to be kind to your bones?
😁 Write down 3 things you can do this week ?
😁 What bone health activity will you make a daily habit?
Or why not Join the Be Healthy Enough Digital Fitness Studio and start my Osteoporosis Fitness Programs.
As a thank you for reading all 3 of these I’ll give you 25% OFF your first payment to any of my Be Healthy Enough Memberships. Just use the discount code BONES at check out.
More questions? Reach out and book a FREE 30 Minute Wellness Consultation today BOOK NOW