What is bone density? Simply said, it is a metric for analysing the strength of your bones and a useful way to determine your risk of osteoporosis, a disorder that weakens bones and increases the likelihood that they will break. Regardless of age or physical condition, bone osteogenesis—the strengthening and development of our bones—is a desired outcome since it is essential to maintaining a healthy skeletal system.
Knowing bone density is essential to understanding your general health, whether you’re worried about the possibility of osteoporosis or want to learn more about the best adjustable dumbbells and how resistance training may affect your bone strength.
According to research published in the journal Bone, hereditary variables can account for up to 80% of an individual’s variability in bone density. But as we age, our bones lose some of their mineral content and become more porous, a condition known as osteopenia. For people over 50 with osteoporosis, the degenerative condition hastens the process to the point that fractures are more frequent (particularly in women). This is due to the fact that skeletal changes are known to advance more quickly in women as a result of post-menopausal hormone changes in the body, according to study published in the Journal of Osteoporosis.
What is normal Bone Density?
Beyond genetics, gender, and ageing, a number of other factors, such as diet, lifestyle choices, and general health, also play a role in bone density decrease. The World Health Organization developed a technique in 1994 that compares an individual’s bone density to that of the average 30-year-old and uses “standard deviations” to measure this loss. Any T-score that is less than or equal to 1.0 in relation to the mean average is regarded as healthy.
While some aspects of bone health are out of our control, healthy lifestyle choices like quitting smoking, limiting alcohol use, and engaging in regular exercise can significantly impact bone density maintenance and growth.
According to researcher, “resistance training can also increase bone density. This helps an individual to be more robust to breaks, fractures and reduce the chance of osteoporosis.”
Improving Bone Density
Weightlifting shouldn’t only be reserved for young people. Weight-bearing workouts performed later in life can also help slow the loss of bone density that comes with ageing, according to researcher. This suggests that frequent resistance exercise will still be beneficial to people into their senior years.
Osteoporosis is anticipated to worsen as the proportion of old persons in our population rises. As a result, the medical community encourages individuals to take action to protect their bone health because it will benefit both themselves and society at large by reducing the strain on the healthcare system.
Walking is essential for increasing bone density, particularly in middle-aged or older people. Regular walks, a weight-bearing exercise, can increase bone strength maintenance by positively altering the body’s micro-architectural bone configuration.
Cycling’s low-impact nature results in minimal increases in bone density and strength, whereas rowing only benefits your lumbar region of the spine. But the most crucial factor is how frequently you exercise. The key to the programme improving the person’s bone density is performing it three times a week or more. Any less, according to studies, and improvements become insignificant.
Making sure your calcium and vitamin D intake reaches the daily guideline is essential to promoting and maintaining musculoskeletal health in terms of increasing bone density. This means that you should consume low-fat milk, yoghurt, and cheese (or vegan substitutes) to meet your calcium needs, while appropriate sun exposure, vitamin D supplements, and food nutrients are essential for maintaining a sufficient intake of vitamin D. Naturally, as we become older, this becomes more significant because it fortifies the bones of the most vulnerable people. Finally, it’s important to make sure your diet contains enough calories, especially for elderly people who tend to consume less as they get older.
Can you have too much bone density?
In four well-established US healthcare systems, a recent American study indicated that less than 25% of individuals who experienced hip fractures had previously undergone a bone density test. As a result, it is obvious that each person is responsible for maintaining their own bone health. While high bone mineral density is undesirable, low bone density is linked to osteoporosis. According to study from the Rheumatology journal, increasing BMD may also indicate a higher risk of fractures. The majority of people shouldn’t be concerned if their bone density is 2.5 standard deviations over the mean average because ageing naturally counteracts this phenomenon.
It is clear that maintaining bone density is essential to ensuring overall physical health. The skeletal system needs to be properly maintained, especially as we become older, as it serves as the basis for mobility and injury prevention. Fortunately, many of the actions we can do to maintain and enhance our bone health are likely already included into a healthy lifestyle and are quite easy for a beginning to complete. In light of this, maintaining our bone density is something we should all be mindful of.
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