We all work out for different reasons;
To decrease stress, increase strength, increase endurance, increase energy levels, keep up with kids and grandkids, lose weight, look better, gain confidence, etc.
Aesthetics aside, if we were to categorize these goals, we could likely label them all under “Quality of Life.”
- If you’re stronger, it’s easier to complete your daily tasks.
- If you have great endurance, you are able to enjoy recreational activities longer, and with less fatigue.
- If your weight and body composition are in check, data will consistently show that you’re increasing longevity.
Lately, the ONE thing of major concern is bone density.
Just as simple as it sounds, bone density is the thickness, strength, and resilience of your bones. Statistics show that out of 10 million individuals with osteoporosis, 8 million are women. This is due largely to the hormonal changes that occur around menopause. In addition to those 10 million there are another 44 million with low bone mass, putting them at risk for osteoporosis in the future.
Low bone density puts you at higher risk for fractures. While all fractures pose danger, hip fractures are specifically detrimental to our health. The mortality rate (chance of death over a certain time span) for women with a hip fracture is currently higher than that of a breast cancer diagnosis. This may seem unbelievable, however this type of fracture restricts movement in such a way that hosts of other complications often arise after this major fracture.
So what can we do about it?
The single biggest way to improve bone density is by performing weight bearing exercises, more specifically, strength training.
But I want to make this clear– NOT ALL EXERCISE IS STRENGTH TRAINING.
A pilates class may be super hard on your muscles. A hot room exercise class may leave you dripping in sweat and high off your endorphins. Your favorite peloton instructor may beat you into the ground.
But NONE of these exercises will make much of a difference as it relates to your bone density.
The key to improving bone density is the load on the bones, which for the most part is better executed in a standing position where the entire skeleton is loaded.
We’re talking about strength training, with increasingly challenging weights over time, in a 3-6 rep range. 30 rep burnout circuits with the 2lb dumbbells isn’t going to cut it!
So here are 3 exercises that our female clients perform not only to get stronger, build muscle, and feel great but keep those bones strong and dense as we age:
TRAP BAR DEADLIFTS
This go-to movement is key for building strong women and strong bones. The first goal is to be able to lift your own bodyweight for 5 reps.
As simple as it sounds, you just take 2 dumbbells or kettlebells at your sides and take them for a walk. We prefer either lighter weights for long distances or heavier weights for shorter distances. Our baseline is ¼ of your bodyweight in each hand and walk for 2 minutes. The long-term progression is ½ your bodyweight in each hand.
This is one you can do outside the gym. All you need is a heavy pack and a great trail. While many strive to increase their DISTANCE, for bone density, adding a little weight is key. The ruck is the easiest, most comfortable way. While there are more affordable options, the packs from GoRuck.com are much more comfortable and will last forever.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking “Well I’m years away from menopause, I’m good.” Increasing bone density takes time, and it is never a bad time to begin proper strength training.
And if you haven’t had a scan, get it done! At least then you’ll have a baseline allowing you to make the right decisions for your own health and longevity.
If you’re ready to begin click the link HERE and schedule a consult with one of our Head Coaches for our 30 day Aspire Ascension plan. It’s a 30 day sprint to ensure future success. You’ll learn the basics of strength training, cardiovascular training, mobility, as well as nutrition.
Keep Moving Forward,