Terri Walsh’s Guide to Understanding Bone Density

Introduction
Strong bones are essential for general health and well-being. In addition, a strong body means less risk of injury and disease, so ensuring you’re building up bone density is crucial. Strength training is a great way to increase bone density, but you must do it right!

Why Should You Think About Bone Density?

If you’ve dieted extensively in your adolescent and younger adult life, you may have unpleasant surprises regarding bone density in your 50s or 60s. It’s important to know that our decisions and nutrition choices of youth come due in our 50s and 60s.

What is bone density?
Bone density measures how strong your bones are. It’s important to know because it can help you understand your skeleton’s durability and whether your bones are at risk of fragility or damage.

It’s also helpful if you’re looking into osteoporosis medication, which can slow down the loss of bone density over time (but doesn’t always stop it).

Why do we want strong bones?
Strong bones are essential for your overall health and well-being. Bones support our body, help us move by providing a framework for the muscle to attach to and help with blood flow. Strong bones also help you to stay balanced as you move around your day.

Healthy bones can reduce your risk of falling or breaking a bone. Stronger bones are less likely to fail because they can withstand more force. The stronger your body is overall (including your muscles), the less likely it is that you will suffer from injuries such as fractures or breaks in other parts of the body, like wrists or ankles, which may occur from falls or accidents.

How do we get strong bones?
You may have heard calcium, vitamin D, and weight-bearing exercises are critical to strong bones. But how do we get strong bones?

The best way to build stronger bones is through strength training, like lifting weights or using resistance bands and building muscle mass. The more muscles you have, the higher your bone density will be since muscles increase bone mass by pulling on tendons, which in turn pull on the bones they surround—the result: more robust, denser bones!

The benefits of strength training for bone health.
Strength training and bone health are not just related but inseparable. Exercise is an essential factor for building strong bones. The benefits of strength training for bone health are many:

1) Strength training increases muscle mass, which increases bone density and strength.

2) It also maintains muscle mass as we age, slowing down the loss of bone tissue that naturally occurs with aging.

3) Resistance exercises help prevent falls by improving balance and coordination.

Strength training has many benefits. It can help you maintain bone density as you age, improve your mood, and prevent falls. Weight-bearing exercise (such as walking) is also important for maintaining bone density. Strength training builds muscle mass and improves balance, which may help reduce the risk of falls. Exercise involving large muscle groups —such as weightlifting—promotes healthy bones.*

It’s important to note that while strength training is important in building strong bones, it will not prevent osteoporosis. When combined with adequate calcium intake, regular weightlifting can be an effective way to slow down the loss of bone mass over time.*

Strength training and bone density.
When it comes to bone health, strength training is an essential aspect of living a healthy life. Bone density is significant for women at greater risk for osteoporosis than men. Strength training in your 20s, 30s, and 40s can help prevent osteoporosis and improve your balance, posture, and overall health.

Building muscle will help you maintain bone density as you age.
As we age, bones can become more porous and create a greater risk of developing osteoporosis. Proper nutrition and building muscle mass will help maintain bone density as you age. Muscle is denser than fat and heavier than fat. Therefore, increasing the amount of lean muscle will help prevent falls and maintain balance and stability throughout life. Additionally, our muscle mass decreases as we age, so building new skeletal muscle can effectively combat this decline in strength and ability.

How much weight should you lift?
It is best to start with a comfortable weight but not so heavy that it’s difficult to lift. If you can easily lift the weight, try increasing it by 5 pounds. If you cannot lift it, decrease the weight by 10 pounds and start again. This pattern should continue until you feel challenged but not in pain or exhausted.

It’s about more than just lifting weights.
Strength training is not just about lifting weights. It requires solid nutrition too. Lifting weights is only one part of the equation. You must also have a balanced diet and adequate rest to build muscle mass. If you are not eating enough calories, your body will not have enough energy to build new muscle tissue. Likewise, if you are not eating enough protein-rich foods, your body will be unable to build muscle. Ensure you get at least .8 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day.

Strength training is about building lean muscle, and muscle is what gives you the strength to move your body through space with ease. It’s also about maintaining bone density, which keeps your bones strong—and that’s critical for preventing osteoporosis.

Strength training can help stave off osteoporosis, but starting at an intensity that feels comfortable to avoid injury is essential.
It may seem counterintuitive to lift weights to avoid brittle bones. However, strength training is vital in treating osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Start with low weight and gradually increase over time—your focus should be on proper form, not just the amount you lift.
The following exercises will improve bone health:

Kettlebell Swings
Pushups
Squats
Deadlifts
Shoulder Presses

How often should I test my bone density?
If you’re over 50, I think it’s worth knowing about your bone density—so that you can take steps to protect yourself against fractures and falls.

If you are at risk of osteoporosis, you should have a bone density test every two years. If you are not at risk, it is recommended that you have a bone density test every five years.

Having strong bones is essential for your overall health and well-being.
Strong bones help you to:

Improve your balance and ability to perform daily tasks (e.g., walking up stairs, running, etc.)
Reduce the risk of falling as you age
Increase your ability to maintain a healthy weight throughout life

Conclusion
Strong bones are an essential part of living a long and healthy life. Strength training is the answer if you want to keep your bones strong for as long as possible. The important thing is that you do something regularly that works your muscles hard enough for them to grow stronger over time. Also, eat a varied diet with plenty of protein and get enough rest so your body can remain energized and active!

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We meet face to face via zoom for hour-long sessions a minimum of 2x/weekly, and you’ll commit to 2 other workouts per week of your choice of activities. You can also access all my online fitness content and Livestream classes. You also receive my monthly recipe book releases and text me whenever necessary.

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We can track results weekly, and you’ll learn how to understand your body’s cues and clues. We can use a fitness tracker to show where, when, and how your workouts are effective or need adjusting. Or maybe you don’t want to track. I was a personal trainer for 20 years before these things were available. So I know what to do to track your progress manually.

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Results with Personal Trainer Terri Walsh

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