Winter 2004 - Patient Newsletter

Healthy Bones

By Dr. Pino

In my last article I explained the benefits of walking. Let's recap: walking promotes cardiovascular health, helps raise levels of HDL (good cholesterol), reduces blood pressure and enhances self-esteems and mental outlook. Despite all the benefits, walking and other forms of aerobic exercise are not the only kind of exercise you need. The other essential component of exercise is Strength Training.

This involves the use of weights - either weight machines or dumbbells. While strength training obviously builds stronger muscles, it also makes your bones stronger.  It does this by stressing the bones mechanically (in a positive way).  Your bones react to this stress by adding density and becoming stronger.

One of the benefits of strong bones is a lower risk of osteoporosis, which can lead to bone fractures. In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, women over the age of 65 who engaged in two hours a week of weight-bearing exercise reduced their risk of hip and vertebral fractures by about a third. Strength Training is one of the most effective forms of weight-bearing exercises.

Walking, dancing, cycling and similar forms of exercise can also help strengthen bones and muscles, however for good overall fitness be sure to include strength training in your exercise routine. A great way to start your new lifestyle is to participate in our lecture  series every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

When you start an exercise program, it's a good idea to meet with your physician first.  To find out more about the Benefits of Strength Training and Physical Activity for Life Lectures Series at the Obesity Consult Center call us at (617) 636-0158.

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