Bone Density and Health
This month we are going to be looking at Bone Density and Muscle Mass and exercises that help improve and retain both. I
’m starting us off with looking at Bone Density. Bone density or bone mineral density is the amount of bone mineral found in bone tissue.
A newborn baby is born with over 300 bones, most of which is made of cartilage. Over time, a process called ossification takes place, where most of that cartilage turns into bones and some bones fuse together. A fully grown adult has 206 bones. Your bones are constantly growing and rebuilding, getting rid of dead bone and replacing with new. During childhood and the teenage years, it only takes 2 years for the skeleton to rebuild itself, as an adult this process takes an average 7 – 10 years. Up until about the age of 35 the rate that bone dies off and reproduces is about even, so people of that age will have a constant amount of bone in their skeleton.
As a person moves towards their late thirties, the amount of dead bone and new bone starts to get slightly out of balance, therefore more tissue is removed than is made and bone density decreases. The bone shell starts to thin and the struts that make up the structure inside become thinner, weaker and more susceptible to breaks. The older you get, the more bone tissue you lose and osteoporosis and broken bones become more common. Women are more at risk of osteoporosis because of the decline of oestrogen levels during the menopause. Following the menopause the rate that bone density decreases returns to the pre-menopause rate.
How Can We Help Keep Our Bones Healthy
We can help our bodies to keep our bones healthy through diet and exercise. Eating plenty of calcium helps to keep them healthy and vitamin D which helps to absorb the calcium. Protein also plays a huge part in bone health so ensure you include protein in every meal. Strength training exercises have been shown to help promote new bone production.
Strength training is thought to promote the production of new bone and exercises that helps retain bone include strength training and cardio exercises. The benefits of these are increased bone density, increased bone size, reduced inflammation, protection against bone loss and increased muscle mass. Look out for our tips over the coming weeks on Facebook about how to keep bones healthy.