Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Health | 0 comments

With over 50 million people currently diagnosed, chances are you or someone you care about is suffering from some form of bone disease.
Arthritis is responsible for 40 million of those people with the rest ailing from osteoporosis. Countless pills are taken every day in the desperate attempt to eliminate joint pain. I’m here to explain how exercise can both improve these symptoms and prevent them from ever bothering you in the first place.
Osteoporosis, a condition involving porous and brittle bones, is perhaps one of the most preventable conditions out there. With roughly 80% of cases belonging to women, the importance of nutrition cannot be ignored. Calcium is a vital mineral for bone composition with an average intake of 1,200 mg recommended for most people. If dairy intake is a problem I definitely recommend supplementation. Vitamin D is also extremely important as it facilitates absorption of calcium. While diet and supplementation can help you reach the 10-15 mcg recommendations, merely 15 minutes of direct sunlight is often sufficient, and much more enjoyable too.
In regards to exercise prescription for osteoporosis, the prognosis is very favorable thanks to the remarkable adaptability of bone tissue. Just like muscle tissue, bones will grow stronger and denser when put under pressure. For this reason I recommend that everyone, especially women, engage in at least 2 days a week of weight bearing activity. Strength training and high impact sports such as basketball, volleyball, and tennis, are all great ways to strengthen your skeletal system. If you are choosing to battle future osteoporosis at the gym, I highly recommend incorporating jogging, stair climbing, or plyometrics.
Arthritis, on the other hand, can be a difficult problem to treat when symptoms arise. There are two main types of arthritis and it is very important to meet with your doctor and figure out what kind you have. Osteoarthritis is the most common of the two, causing pain and disability at a specific joint. Utilizing weight training to build the muscle around said joint is a great way to alleviate undesired stress. Consistent cardiovascular exercise is also helpful if the appropriate modality is chosen. For example, if arthritic symptoms are diagnosed, exercises with lower impact are preferred such as swimming, walking, and cycling.
Everyone has heard the old adage, “pain is weakness leaving the body”. Wrong. Real pain is a helpful tool to inform you something is wrong. When suffering from arthritic joint pain, do not engage in activities that cause pain, period. For this reason it is often extremely helpful to work with a qualified trainer, as there are many modifications that can be made to painful exercises.
Rheumatoid arthritis will benefit from the same recommendations with one major difference. Since RA is an immune disorder that affects the entire body, recovery time should receive extra attention. Often times someone with RA will require more time in between workouts.
The moral of this story is to relinquish any preconceived fear that exercise is dangerous for your bones or joints. When done properly, weightlifting and other activities can drastically reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis or arthritis. If you have already been diagnosed with one of these conditions, take the important step toward recovery by consulting with a physician about beginning an exercise program. It’s never too late to feel better

To health and happiness,
Chris Caden CPT
North Hollywood CA
Instagram @chriscadentraining