By Tony Wagner Citizen Columnist
Dear Mr. Fitness:
My 77-year-old mom recently fell and broke her shoulder. The doctor informed her that she has osteoporosis. This really frightened her. Would you please inform her and me on the correlation between aging and bone loss and the positive effects of weight lifting on the prevention of it. I think if she sees it in print she will learn what she can do to save herself more broken bones in the future. Thank you.
As everyone ages they lose minerals from their bones. Minerals are responsible for bone strength. Calcium for instance is one of these minerals. Some people lose these minerals quite rapidly; others, very, very slowly. Many times it's genetic, too. Oh yes, men even get brittle bones. Unfortunately, women are at a much greater risk for osteoporosis. The principle reason you ladies are at a greater risk is that you have appreciably less bone mass to begin with when compared to men. Men have greater bone mass as a whole. If your bones are smaller and less dense to begin with, you cannot sustain much in the way of bone loss as you age.
Men start out with more bone mass and consequently can absorb more bone loss throughout their lives. Think of it like this: If a guy has a leg bone as thick as a baseball bat versus a guy whose leg bone is as thick as a pencil, guess who's going to be at risk for osteoporosis? This is simplified, but you get the idea.
Now, the good news: Your mom and others can gain back bone loss and even reverse the trend by doing a few things. One of these is weight training. By doing easily performed resistance exercises we can combat osteoporosis.
Let mom know that I have helped literally hundreds of women by having them lift weights just three times weekly. Remineralizing one's bones begins with some reason for the bones to pull the minerals out of the bloodstream. What does this? Resistance exercise. Your mom requires only five exercises to begin with. Have her check with the doctor to make sure she is able to do this. If the O.K. is given, do these five exercises in this order: Squats, dead lifts, lateral raises, biceps curls and modified push-ups. That's it. One set per exercise to begin with. The entire program should take 10 minutes max. These exercises will immediately begin to fight osteoporosis. Let's get her and others started today and let me know if I can be of further assistance.
-- Mr. Fitness
Tony Wagner, aka Mr. Fitness, has more than 30 years of fitness and nutritional expertise. A certified personal trainer and fitness author, he has helped thousands of people get into and stay in shape. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and come visit at Bodyzone Fitness Center, 2740 N. Roosevelt Blvd., 292-2930.