This post is sponsored by Practical Fitness.
What’s your motivation to exercise? Does it stem from a desire to burn calories, get toned, or to experience the endorphins that provide that happy sensation?
Heck, maybe it’s all the above! Give yourself a pat on the back for whatever motivates you to move and be active. For many of us the desire to exercise stems from these types of incentives, but when it comes to being physically active and healthy we need to look past surface issues and dig deeper.
Down to the Bones of Fitness
When you consider the various motivators for exercise, osteoporosis needs to be on the list. Also known as “the silent disease,” this condition characterized by the loss of bone mass and demineralization which causes a loss of height and the spine to shorten and bend.
As women progress toward menopause their estrogen levels drop significantly putting them at risk for bone loss. Women between the ages of 45-70 will experience a 30% loss of their skeletal structure while men will lose 15%.
It’s no wonder, then, that 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over the age of 50 break a bone due to osteoporosis. While you may realize weakness from a lack of activity, you can’t feel your bones getting weaker and becoming brittle. But the fact remains that as we age our skeletal system begins to disintegrate.
Bone Health Basics
Simple things like processed foods and meat, canned goods, and even caffeine all affect your bone health. Yes, I’m sorry to report that those cups of coffee, tea, energy drinks, or soda do affect your bones.
If you have a family history of osteoporosis, considering limiting your daily intake of caffeine – or eliminate it altogether. Other factors that can hinder a person’s bones are an overactive thyroid gland, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle.
No matter how old you are, it’s important to make bone health a priority. Bone density peaks in our thirties and then you begin losing bone mass. Don’t fret because you can start now to maintain strong bones and actually increase bone density!
Since bone is a living tissue it can be stimulated by weight bearing exercises which helps to build and maintain bones. Exercises such as running, jumping, aerobics, and tennis are good because they work against gravity and stimulate bone formation.
But over time the jarring can negatively impact your joints. That’s why it’s important to add resistance training to your fitness regimen. While lighter weights are great for adding muscular endurance, they don’t increase bone density. Toss aside the tiny cute colored weights and reach for the challenging ones!
Load it Down!
To have ‘Superman” or “Superwoman”- like bones you need to really load the weight down to create a reaction where bones go through a cycle of tearing down and rebuilding. This is where eccentric training (repetitively doing muscle contractions) comes into play. It’s the lowering, or descent motion, which allows you to lift 40 percent higher than concentrically, which is the upward motion.
For example, in a bicep curl lowering the dumbbell is the eccentric phase. But while lowering the weights you want the movement to be slow and controlled versus letting the weight drop or slam down. These types of exercises tax one’s body which cause a stimulus to the muscles, joints, and bones.
To avoid injury, don’t try these types of exercises at a high-intensity level on your own. Forgo DIY in this case. Hire a trainer skilled to assist you with eccentric exercises so you can learn how to lift correctly with an increased load.
Where can I find a skilled trainer in Frisco?
Practical Fitness in Frisco specializes in eccentric exercises via their Steady-Pace® methodology. Their highly experienced trainers work one on one with you to customize a workout program designed specifically for your own body, bones, and overall health.
This is especially important since no two bodies are the same. Their trainers work with a wide array of clients, from athletes to executives, or individuals with rehabilitation and health issues. Watch this quick video to hear straight from the local experts at Practical Fitness in Frisco!
During a typical session at Practical Fitness, the trainers will provide the upward motion with the weight and have you perform the ‘eccentric’ or downward motion for six repetitions for 10 seconds for a total descent process of 1 minute. While one client might be able to lower 150 pounds the next person may only be able to lower 30 pounds.
These trainers will also ensure you have the proper form to prevent injuries. At the end of each session, the trainers track each client’s results to determine whether weight needs to be altered for the next session.
On Your Way to Bone Health
For individuals of all ages, Practical Fitness trainers can help you develop improved bone health! Eccentric exercises are beneficial for older adults, as well as individuals who need to rehabilitate muscles and tendons because they’re less demanding on the cardiovascular and metabolic system.
Numerous clients at Practical Fitness have experienced an improvement in their bone density scans. Mary Ann Holcomb, for example, shared,
I’m 89 years old and have been working out with Practical Fitness for about 6 or 7 years. I feel much stronger and my doctor loves my bone density test results. The trainers at Practical Fitness stay right with you during the whole session and pay special attention to make sure your form is correct to prevent injury, etc. I would recommend Practical Fitness to anyone my age.
Ortho issues? No problem!
Eccentric exercises might sound extremely intimidating if you have hip or other orthopedic issues. Practical Fitness trainers have successfully helped numerous clients with these concerns. The trainers know what exercises will work well to assist individuals with the proper balance of weight, and which exercises are beneficial or should be avoided.
Practical Fitness trainers were able to safely and effectively assist their client Cathy M. after elbow surgery to rebuild her arm strength. Martha, another Practical Fitness client, began with a trainer after being challenged to stick with a workout program two years post-hip replacement surgery. She was finally able to shed unwanted pounds and strengthen her bones!
Consider a 1 hour complimentary health consultation and a 30 minute session at a later date to try Practical Fitness. Of the various motivators we find to exercise, your bone health should be near the top of the list.
Workout Tip for the Ladies: By working out with the dedicated trainers at Practical Fitness, you may not have to worry about trying to squeeze into shapewear or Spanx this season!