07 May Why Weights Are Best For Bones
You’ve probably heard of resistance training, often using weights or other gym equipment, such as a medicine ball. But do you know how truly magical its results can be for your bones, especially for those past a certain age?
Even if you’ve never undertaken a specific class yourself, you do this every day in resistance to your own body weight, simply by walking, standing and sitting. Or, you do it in yoga or Pilates.
But when undertaken intensively, in a dedicated workout with a respected trainer (Enter Flex Studio’s FLEXTreme Power Sesh), you’re reaping huge rewards fast. And no, weight training doesn’t mean you necessarily ‘bulk-up’.
So how does it work?
According to a TIME magazine report from 2017 (http://time.com/4803697/bodybuilding-strength-training/) weight training still reminds many of bodybuilders pumping iron in pursuit of beefy biceps and bulging pecs.
“But experts say,” the report continues, “it’s well past time to discard those antiquated notions of what resistance training can do for your physique and health. Modern exercise science shows that working with weights—whether that weight is a light dumbbell or your own body—may be the best exercise for lifelong physical function and fitness”.
Quoted in the report is Brad Schoenfeld, an assistant professor of exercise science at New York City’s Lehman College.
Dr Schoenfeld talks about bone resorption, or a decrease in bone tissue over time. As young people, bone resorption is balanced and in some cases exceeded by new bone tissue generation.
“But later in life,” Dr Schoenfeld continues, “bone tissue losses accelerate and outpace the creation of new bone”.
This is especially pronounced among the sedentary and women in or who have passed menopause. Unfortunately, loss of bone tissue results in weakness and postural problems, all of which we associate with not only feeling older, but looking it too.
Flex director Heather Thomas Shalabi backs these findings all the way, having herself seen the difference that weight training can do for women and men at any age. Heather adds that resistance training can utilize a variety of tools, such as TRX®, kettle balls, light hand-weights and so on, and while it also helps to tackle bone loss, it also assists hugely with postural issues.
“Studies show that strength training stimulates the development of cells that build bones back up,” says Heather. “So the time to act is now, before injury or physical ailments take hold.”
In a report titled “Strength Training Builds More Than Muscles”, Harvard Medical School adds that strength training, in particular, has bone benefits beyond those offered by aerobic weight-bearing exercise (https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/strength-training-builds-more-than-muscles)
“It targets bones of the hips, spine, and wrists, which are the sites most likely to fracture,” Harvard Health says. “What’s more, resistance workouts — particularly those that include moves emphasizing power and balance — enhance strength and stability.
That can boost confidence, encourage you to stay active, and reduce fractures another way — by cutting down on falls, the report concludes.
As Heather says, it’s a total-body strength approach that aerobic exercise alone can’t achieve fully – and that goes for men and woman. The good news is, Flex can help.
Our Flex Power Tone classes – which are one element of the unique FLEXTreme method – are a powerful way to tone your entire body in just 50 minutes.
Power blends weight-based work with trusted, highly effective personal training methods and the Classical Pilates concept of total core engagement. Effective studio equipment is utilized to create a lean and strong body. Low cardio, maximum results.