Always think how to do things differently. - Faudzil Harun@Ajak
28 December 2014
HEALTH - Strong bones for life
Strong bones for life
We all need to keep our bones healthy as we get older.
Here are ideas that will help improve your bone strength and density.
Keep your bones strong through the years with these simple exercises and activities.
1. Upper body cardio: boxing
Boxing is the ultimate upper-body bone strengthener. It also has cardio and coordination benefits and is a great stress release. Seek some advice on your technique. You need to punch safely and powerfully and you can only do this if you are striking correctly. Keep your feet on the go to get an even better result. You can do some short, fast runs; some squats, lunges and step-ups; or simply dance around as you box.
2. Sport: tennis
I'm sure most people would agree that playing sport has more appeal than going to the gym. Many sports also have great bone-strengthening potential. A sport such as tennis or squash forces impact and force through the upper and lower body, making it the perfect bone strengthener. Other sports, such as touch football, netball and basketball, that involve short,
sharp sprints and changes of direction, are good too.
3. Lower body cardio: skipping
Skipping is a great moderate to high-intensity bone strengthener. It also gives you a cardio workout and improves coordination. Low, fast jumps are better from a cardio perspective, while slightly higher, slower jumps are better for bone strengthening. You can use skipping as part of a strength circuit or on its own. Try fast, timed sprints with rests in between.
4. Body-weight strengthening: step-ups
Body-weight strengthening exercises, such as step-ups, are an easy way to strengthen bones. The step-up is an isotonic contraction (the muscles lengthen and shorten), and it has a controlled impact. Also try walking lunges, box jumps and inclined clapping push-ups. If a body-weight exercise does not have an impact or dynamic component, add weight for bone-strengthening benefits.
5. Free-weight strengthening: squat curls
Resistance training with dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls and kettlebells forces your bones to adapt and strengthen. We've pictured whole-body squats with bicep curls, but there are hundreds of other possible exercises. Add on to simple body-weight exercises by doing bench presses instead of push-ups, dumbbell lunges or barbell squats.
The heavier the load and the more impact, the better.
A fast movement is better than a slow one.
Less reps are better than more (36 reps in total is ideal).
Isotonic movements (muscles lengthening and shortening) are better than isometric movements (holding poses).