Updated: Oct 13
Most people are aware of the benefits of regular exercise, and the first thing that comes to mind will most likely be cardiovascular health and increased muscle mass. Fewer people may be aware of the benefits to bone health, particularly as you go into mid life and beyond.
When we are young, our bones are growing and repairing very efficiently. This regeneration continues through life which is important as bones degrade and wear naturally. This is because our bodies can absorb calcium and other minerals from our bones. Menopause is also a contributing factor.
This means that regeneration can become less than the degradation which is not a good path to be on. Weak or brittle bones are something we need to postpone, even if we can't totally avoid, as it can impact our quality of life or could have severe consequences if we have a fall.
Also, breakdown of the joints increases with age with symptoms ranging from inflammation to arthritis.
Jumping and bodyweight resistance training may be worrying to some who may think that it can damage joints and bones, but if performed correctly and not over repetitively then the opposite is true. The force of the muscles pulling against the bones is what helps with bone growth here. Endurance athletes can have some bone loss meaning that weight training should be included in the weekly routine of long-distance athletes.
Research suggests that only 12 to 20 minutes of bodyweight training 3 times per week can lead to improved bone health. Jumping is great for bone and joint strength, so if possible include plyometric exercises in your routine.
"Only 12 to 20 minutes of bodyweight training 3 times per week can lead to improved bone health."
Remember it's a good idea to have a varied weekly routine, so here are some ideas for you:
- Plyometrics (jump training)
- Bodyweight exercises (squats are great)
- Jump Rope (skipping rope)
- High-impact training
- Stair running.
Make sure that calcium and vitamin D are in your diet though, otherwise all that good work may not give the benefits you deserve.