Weight Training for Your Bones
While people lift weights for different reasons, most do it to gain muscle strength. Building muscle can be visible within just weeks of a rigorous weight-training regimen. While your muscles are growing and becoming firm, your bones are also becoming stronger. This form of strength is not detectable like muscle mass, but can be carried through life because strengthening your bones will help prevent or lessen the effects of diseases such as Osteoporosis.
Several factors, including diet, hormones, physical activity, genetics and medications can all affect bone strength. While Osteoporosis is more common in women, it can occur in men over the age of 65 as well. Women generally experience Osteoporosis around age 40, as estrogen production drops during menopause.
Strength training exercises with free weights, resistance bands, or weight machines will help slow the loss of minerals in the bones. Weight bearing aerobic exercises will raise your heart rate while your bones and muscles work against the force of gravity. When doing exercises like this, chemicals are released telling your bones to prepare themselves for more of this type of work, so your bones become denser and stronger. Other things, such as balance and muscle strength, are improved and reduce your chances for breaking bones in a fall.
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