Incorporating weight-bearing exercises such as squats and burpees into your daily routine will help build and maintain strong and healthy bones.
How do you define what a weight-bearing exercise is and how does it make bones stronger?
Dr. Chris Serafini: Weight-bearing exercise would obviously be what it is, any exercise with some sort of weight or load other than your body weight. Although, I think you could kind of get by with some body weight exercises, but for the most part, weight-bearing exercise is pretty self-explanatory.
As far as how does it make bones stronger, there is a law in the body called Wolff’s Law. Wolff’s Law states wherever you put more pressure on bones, the body will build more bone there. Like when you see boxers or martial artists, their knuckles, their forearms are very, very dense, big, and thick as far as bone-wise is, because of all the added pressure there, the body knows it has to add more bone there. As you take any sort of weight bearing exercise, that load on the bone is naturally going to enable Wolff’s Law to kick in and build more bone there and make it stronger.
What are some examples of healthy weight-bearing exercises?
Dr. Chris Serafini: I would say any exercise with a dumbbell, a barbell, squatting with weights, a burpee with weight. Really like I said, any kind of weight-bearing exercise, as long as you have some load on the body is going to give you that effect of Wolff’s Law and strengthen your bones.
How many times a week and for how long should people exercise to make it count?
Dr. Chris Serafini: I think this is a great question. I think a lot of people kind of undershoot this. In my opinion, I think you should be exercising at least four days a week. If you’re exercising less than that, then that means you are not exercising more than you are exercising. So, you want to at least have four days, which puts you over half the week, and the exercise time-frame, I think 30 to 45 minutes is adequate for most people.
At what age does the body start to lose bone mass, and will exercising after that age help at all?
Dr. Chris Serafini: The references vary on this. It’s anywhere between 30 and 40 years of age is what most references say. Will exercise help after that? Of course, it will. The law is the law. It will apply no matter what age you are at, and any kind of weight-bearing exercise is going to help increase the strength and health of your bones.
Can a chiropractic checkup help someone trying to build strong and healthy bones?
Dr. Chris Serafini: Yeah, I think most people might not look at it like this, but all chiropractors, we’re actually bone doctors. That’s what we do. That’s what our specialty is. We work with bones. Part of strong, healthy bones is having a normal alignment biomechanically. When your bones get misaligned, that’s when that abnormal grinding and wearing away at the disc, you start to get bone spurs, osteoarthritis. That’s biomechanical joint problems. When bones get misaligned, that’s the wear and tear process. And part of strong and healthy bones is to make sure you have no bone spurs. Make sure you don’t have osteoarthritis. Make sure you don’t have any degenerative disc disease, things like that. And that’s what chiropractors help identify and correct.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Chris Serafini, visit www.thescottsdalechiropractor.com or call 480-443-7678 to schedule an appointment.