Strength Training for Bone Density: What You Need to Know

Understanding Our Bone Density Journey

As we age, many of us confront the reality of declining health and strength. For some, this decline may have started even earlier, a result of years of potential neglect and muscle disuse. Before we know it, we might find ourselves facing Osteopenia – an early indicator of decreasing bone density. If we don’t act, this can evolve into

Osteoporosis, making us more prone to fractures and other health conditions, especially as we grow older. Alarmingly, in Australia, Osteoporosis affects approximately 1.2 million individuals, while another 6.3 million people grapple with low bone density.

For women, this is particularly concerning. The chances of breaking a bone due to Osteoporosis are actually higher than experiencing a heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined.

 

Can We Prevent Osteoporosis?

While the data might appear disheartening, there’s genuine hope. Research has highlighted that it’s within our power to maintain, and even enhance, our bone density. The key to this solution is ‘mechanical loading’.

Mechanical loading serves as a cornerstone for preserving and increasing bone density. Dynamic contractions, especially eccentric loading where our muscle lengthens under tension (for example, the lowering part of a shoulder press), have been pinpointed as invaluable for boosting bone mineral density.

When our bones experience this type of stress, they undergo the ”Piezoelectric effect”. Essentially, our bones produce electrical dipoles when stressed. These dipoles then attract osteoblasts, which are the cells responsible for bone building. These cells lay down calcium and other minerals, reinforcing our bones. This process is our body’s brilliant way of healing and remodelling our bones.

 

Making Strength Training Part of Your Routine

The question you might be asking is: what’s the best and safest method to harness mechanical loading for our bones and muscles? While there are numerous options like bodyweight exercises, weightlifting, and Pilates, one stands out from the rest: ARX.

ARX offers a revolutionary approach to strength-based resistance exercise. What sets it apart is its unique capability to deliver optimally-loaded eccentric contractions. Its adaptive nature ensures that it is always providing the perfect resistance for each user at all times. During the eccentric phase of an exercise, where the muscle lengthens under tension (such as lowering a weight), our muscles are inherently stronger and can handle more resistance than during the concentric phase (like lifting a weight).

However, with traditional weightlifting, we typically select weights based on our weakest point, which is often the concentric phase. This means that even though our muscles could handle and benefit from more resistance during the eccentric phase, we’re limited by the weight we can initially lift. Consequently, we’re unable to tap into the full potential of our muscle’s strength capacity, missing out on the enhanced benefits of maximising eccentric loading.

Additionally, ARX is a time-saver. With it, you can achieve enhanced bone density with just 1-2, 12-minute sessions per week. The safety and convenience ARX brings are unmatched. It’s designed in such a way that you’ll never feel overwhelmed by the resistance, which isn’t always the case with traditional weightlifting methods. Plus, ARX requires minimal coordination, balance, or skill, making it accessible and effective from the get-go.

 

Special Note for Women Navigating Menopause

If you’re a woman going through menopause, this section is for you. During this transitional phase, declining oestrogen levels can cause your bones to lose density at a faster rate. This makes it an especially crucial time to focus on bone health. Considering that one in two women might experience a fracture due to Osteoporosis in their lifetime, it’s essential to embrace strength training and tools like ARX.

 

Final Thoughts

In addressing diminishing bone density and the looming threat of Osteoporosis, resistance training proves to be an invaluable solution. At Fortis Fit, the use of ARX technology not only provides protection to our clients but also empowers them to get more enjoyment out of life. Whether you’re a woman navigating the challenges of menopause or someone keen on prioritising bone health, understanding the benefits of mechanical loading is crucial.

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