We all expect grey hairs, wrinkles and saggy bits as we age. And we can’t do much about some of these things (well besides, say, investing in good hair colour or a bit of Botox). But we can do a lot, in the gym through activities such as weight training, to keep our bones as young as possible.
Weight training makes bones stronger
Your bones have to work harder when you exercise with weights. The extra stress on your bones is what prompts them to produce more osteoblasts. These are the cells your body uses to build and strengthen bones. Your ligaments, cartilage and the other bone tissues also enjoy the same benefits from weight training.
A further benefit of weight training is the extra lubrication it generates for your joints (literally, called synovial fluid, which keeps the cartilage from drying out). This keeps your joints supple and helps to prevent injury.
Don’t wait to weight
Once you’ve lost bone density, you can’t get it back. But you can maintain the bone density you have now, by doing weight training. So start weight training now! Experts say that the watershed age is 30 – after this milestone age, you can’t build bone density anymore (and in fact, your bone density will slowly decline, unless you do something to keep it).
This doesn’t mean you can declare defeat, if you’re older than 30! Exercising with weights will go a long way in the preservation of a healthy bone density (and supple joints). Remember, your old age will be a lot more enjoyable and happy if you have greater mobility and better health, that is the result of regular weight training.
Warning: Don’t overdo it!
You can do too much weight training. And if you’re not getting enough calcium and Vitamin D to support it, you’ll lose bone density rather than build it. Your body simply won’t keep up with the stress of the weight training. Women, in particular, need to be especially careful. Too much weight training can affect their level of oestrogen, causing irregular menstruation and deplete bone density.
You could become an expert on exercise for the elderly. And before you dismiss this as the most unsexy job ever, consider this: The 50+ market is huge. And it’s growing fast (since more and more people are living well into their 80s and 90s). So sign up for a certification in Exercise for the Elderly, at Trifocus Fitness Academy. And become the next superstar personal trainer for the booming boomers!