The virtues of strength training are easily spelled out: you get stronger, look better and usually have fewer aches and pains.
But many benefits are more subtle. Preventing, or at least minimising the effects of, osteoporosis is one of them.
What IS osteoporosis?
Put simply, weak bones! It’s a condition where the bones become porous and brittle, which means they can break far more easily. Normally, bones are constantly renewed, but osteoporosis leads to less and less bone being replaced.
The trouble is, hardly anyone will know they have it until a minor incident leads to a broken bone.
How can it be prevented?
The good news is that you CAN almost eradicate the risk.
Do some exercise! Weight bearing exercise, like strength training, encourages new bone growth as the tendons and ligaments causes tiny amounts of (painless!) damage to the bones as you exercise. Your body then attempts to repair this damage and strengthens the bone as a result. Exercise is your Number 1 defence against osteoporosis.
Ensuring you get enough calcium and protein in your diet are key nutritional factors – and protein intake is something largely ignored (or worse, discouraged) in the wider population. It’s essential – it’s a building block, and without enough protein your body just will not repair properly.
Ensuring you don’t smoke or drink TOO much alcohol helps – both of these things can leach nutrients from the body that would otherwise help with repair.
Why is it so prevalent in women?
1 in 3 women over 50 have osteoporosis, compared to 1 in 5 men. Clearly, it’s a very common disease, but nearly twice as prevalent in women.
In women over 50 or so, the menopause contributes to this higher rate as the production of oestrogen dramatically reduces. So – as a female, even pre-menopause, some basic exercise and strength training can stop the process before it even starts.
The damage to quality of life.
Osteoporosis is a leading reason for older people breaking limbs in an otherwise minor fall. More hours are spent in hospital for accidents relating to osteoporosis than for breast cancer.
A hip fracture in older people often leads to a permanent loss of mobility and can hasten death in an otherwise healthy person.
Even simple wrist and ankle fractures can lead to someone needing to completely change their life, habits, hobbies and routines – even without factoring in the pain and discomfort that goes alongside.
Don’t forget – this is all PREVENTABLE. It’s in your power to make sure this isn’t you.
What can RWF do about it?
We have literally thousands of hours of hands-on, client-facing experience between us. Throw in the two excellent physios that work on-site, and we’ve got almost everything covered.
Not only do we have the right personnel to help you, we have a spacious, well-kitted out gym to deliver your training in. We don’t oversell our memberships, which means you get space and time to train properly and really focus on the stuff that makes a difference.
If you’re in Nottingham and want our help, please just get in touch here.