When looking to improve your overall fitness, adding strength training to your workouts can be an effective measure. Strength training not only burns calories more efficiently, increases lean muscles, boosts mood, reduces body fat, and improves sleep, it also improves the health of your bones.
With an estimated 8 million women suffering from osteoporosis in the United States, this bone health boosting benefit of strength training is one all women should take full advantage of.
Regular strength training improves the overall health of your bones by triggering the following 2 key benefits:
Increase in Bone Strength
Just as muscles get stronger and bigger when exercised regularly due to the stress placed on them, bones also grow stronger when you regularly place demands on them. Basically, stress forms in bones during physical activity thus forcing the bones to toughen up so as to be in a better position to handle the stress being dealt to them.
This strengthening of the bones happens through a simple process where physical activity provides the mechanical stimuli or “loading” important for improving bone strength and health. While any form of physical activity can trigger this process, research suggests that strength training has a greater site specific effect than aerobic exercise. So, the greater the impacts of your strength training sessions, the stronger your bones become.
Buildup of Bone Density
The general makeup of bones causes them to adapt in response to the stresses placed upon it. So, if you’re highly inactive, you bones weaken over time and become more susceptible to thinning and fracturing. Alternatively, if you put your bones under moderate pressure by engaging in strength training routines, the bones respond by building more density.
The stress place on the bones nudges bone-forming cells into action thus resulting in the increased bone density. Hip, wrist, and spine bones enjoy the most increase in bone density since most strength training routines target these bones. This increase in bone density in turn helps protect against risk of osteoporosis.
If you’re a young woman, strength training’s bone strengthening benefit is one you should not pass on. This is because you’ll eventually become a post-menopausal woman where you’ll start to gradually lose bone density. With years of strength training behind you, your bone density will be so high that the overall loss of bone density you experience with time will deliver minimal negative consequences. Post-menopausal women can also benefit from strength training since it increases bone density.