There’s a debate in the fitness world about which type of exercise is most effective for people over 50. Studies have demonstrated that strength training exercises improve bone density in the hip and spine and therefore are effective in the battle against osteoporosis. These exercises include lunges and squats. We’ll vote that strength training is still the best even if you’re over 50.
The term “weight-bearing exercise” essentially means bone-building exercise. To increase bone density exercise must be different from and, get this, greater than daily activities. If you have been inactive and start a walking program or switch from walking to running, your bones will initially respond by improving density, but after a couple of weeks, the stimulus will become normal and no adaptation will occur. Bone density responds better to short amounts of increased mechanical loading. In other words, ongoing repetitive movements often found in aerobic exercise are not nearly as effective as strength training (under load) at increasing bone density, even if they are also weight-bearing activities. After the first minute or so of repetitive loading, the cellular response of bones switches off. On the other hand, lunges and squats (with weight, when that is the proper progression) are the kind of weight-bearing exercises that do build bone density.
Increase Bone Density
To increase bone density, you have to surprise your system with a variety of exercises that require unfamiliar loading patterns. Your bones will adapt to the different forces from a variety of angles, but only the bones that are directly stressed will adapt. The two primary ways to add stress to bones are to increase force and add moderate impact. Squats increase force by engaging muscles that attach to your bones. Forward, diagonal and side lunges increase force by directing your body and bones in different angles. They also add impact when you step into that lunge stance.
Correct Form Is KEY
Both squats and lunges are compound exercises,so they are inclusive of multiple movements and use more than one joint. Because of this, proper coaching is needed to learn the movement correctly as your neuromuscular system becomes familiar with the movement.
Up the Load!
At the point when you are moving well and without pain you can advance to more complicated variations and vary the tempo. You can also start adding weight -- this is the stress you want to place on your bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Cartilage actually thrives under SAFE compression as well, so do your joints a favor and start TODAY!