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The Benefits of Safe Weightlifting for Women with Osteoporosis

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The Benefits of Safe Weightlifting for Women with Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a disorder that makes the bones weaker and more prone to fracture, is a significant cause of disability, particularly in postmenopausal women. While it may seem counterintuitive, exercise, and specifically, weightlifting, can actually help protect the bones and prevent women from sustaining osteoporosis-related fractures. In fact, research shows that strength training can slow down bone loss while increasing muscle strength, improving balance, and providing pain relief. Strength training can also stimulate new bone growth.

Strength Training Can Help

Research shows how strength training can help slow down bone loss and help build up bone density in postmenopausal women, especially in the spine and hips. The improvements in balance and coordination also help prevent falls, which is a major cause of falls that lead to osteoporotic fractures. The increase in muscle mass, too, is a huge benefit, as women lose about 50 to 55% of their muscle mass by the time they’re 70 years old, which explains why older women may feel weaker and more fatigued as they age. These feelings can be lessened with weightlifting and strength training.

Another undeniable benefit of strength training is it can help enhance you quality of life so you can better enjoy your everyday activities and maintain a higher degree of independence for a longer period of time. Strength training also helps reduce the signs and symptoms of other chronic conditions unrelated to osteoporosis that you may have, such as arthritis, obesity, depression, and sleep difficulties. Some research even suggests that strength training may improve cognitive skills for older adults.

When Will I See Improvements on Bone Density Tests?

It may take time to see bone density test improvements, but be patient. If you persevere with your weightlifting and strength training, even a seemingly small change of 1% could make a big improve that could add up to 10% after ten years. That’s a lot of added bone mass to celebrate.

Also, you won’t need to spend hours per day pumping iron to reap the benefits of strength training. Most women see significant improvement in their training with just two or three 20- to 30-minute strength training sessions per week. You should gradually notice an improvement in your strength over time as your muscle mass increases and that you’ll be able to lift heavier weight more easily and for longer periods, even if you weren’t in very good physical shape when you began your workout regimen.

Contact Fox Valley Orthopedics for a Consultation

Do you have osteoporosis or some other orthopedic condition? Our board-certified orthopedists can help determine a workout regimen that is beneficial for you that won’t feel like it’s too much of a hassle for you to incorporate into your routine. Simply contact us for an appointment by calling (630) 584-1400 or reach out online for a quick reply.

For your safety, you should always consult your physician before beginning any new exercise regimen.