January 23rd, 2023
Did you know after 50 your bones break down faster than they rebuild? This goes for women and men. When bones become less dense, they also become weaker and more brittle. That’s why for most people, a hard fall in their 30s can be much different than in their 80s. The good news is it’s never too late in life to start training for bone density.
Though there’s no cut-and-dry way to begin because everyone’s different and starts at a different age, here are some of the top tips to increase bone density that would be a good starting point.
How to Increase Bone Density
1. Start At Your Level
To be sure you get off on the right foot, ease into your plan with safe and effective exercises. Because after all, you would never want to injure yourself. Of course, we recommend talking with your doctor first before starting any program. As always, hiring us or another exercise professional can also help you determine the best exercises for your fitness level and goals.
2. Prioritize Static Exercises
More times than not, a good bone-building plan should always start with static exercises. What is a static exercise? A static exercise is when muscles contract against resistance, but there is no movement. Because there’s no friction or movement, it’s almost guaranteed to be gentle on your bones regardless of your starting point. And the key to building good bones is starting with muscle contractions. A few examples include a wall sit, a bridge, and a soup can shoulder hold.
3. Include Compound Movements
For the more advanced, include compound movements. Compound movements are key because they involve more than one joint. For example, a squat involves your knees, hips and ankles to some extent. And by involving more than one joint, you’re stimulating more bone, thereby hopefully stimulating your bone density.
Here are some quick tips on how to do some of our favourite movements safely and correctly.
4 Exercises to Improve Bone Density
The Chair Squat:
Step-ups are a bit more advanced than squats. They are basically single-leg squats performed in a controlled matter. This exercise independently works each side of the body, keeping everything nice and balanced. The video below offers a visual demonstration of the step-up exercise.
Push-ups work the upper body while stimulating your bones. You can perform this movement dynamically or perform a push-up hold, depending on what feels right for you and your body. View the push-up videos below for a quick demonstration of the push-up pulse and other push-up variations.
Pull-ups also work the upper body and can be performed as a chin-up hold or a dynamic pull-up. You can further use bands to offset the resistance and perform this exercise in a controlled, effective, and safe way. Learn how to do a pull-up here.
Don’t Forget About Nutrition
Increasing and maintaining bone density isn’t all about the exercises! You also need to give your body the resources it needs to increase bone mass. This includes ensuring you’re getting enough minerals, including calcium, which can be found in dairy and dark leafy greens. An alkaline diet also plays a big part, because if you’re eating too many acidic foods, your body will use bone minerals to counter the acid you ingest. Here’s a list of alkaline foods you may want to consider adding to your diet if you’re not already.
Lastly, give it time and be sure to track it. When you make dietary or exercise changes, it may be many months before you notice any improvements.
Keep this checklist in mind
It’s never too early or too late to begin enhancing your bone density—starting early is key for optimal results. Before diving into a new fitness program, consider getting a physical fitness assessment and consult with your doctor to outline the best path forward. If you’re seeking a personal trainer at home, whether in Toronto, Collingwood, Hamilton, or London, the dedicated team at Nielsen Fitness is here to support you every step of the way. Reach out to us to begin your journey to stronger bones and a healthier you! Contact us today to get started!