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Woman demonstrating exercise positions for seniors

Two exercises seniors can try for National Women's Health and Fitness Day

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In celebration of National Women’s Health and Fitness Day on September 25th, Milestone Retirement would like to highlight two low-impact, weight-bearing exercises that help to build bone density.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), low bone density, or osteoporosis, causes one in two women over the age of 50 to break a bone. This can lead to a chain reaction of many other ailments. However, such osteoporosis bone degeneration can be counteracted and even prevented by growing stronger bones, and doctors recommend that all women – regardless of age – take part in specifically low-impact, weight-bearing exercises as a primary means to do so.

So, as you think about your health and fitness routine this month in preparation for September 25th, keep these two exercises in mind for positioning your body toward better bone health.

 

One-Foot Posture

Women modeling the one-foot posture exercise

Stand close to a chair and bring your balance to your left foot. Then, step up on the chair with your right foot.

Bone density is strengthened by bearing weight with minimal impact. So, little by little, shift more and more of your weight to the heel of the left foot. With attention to detail and practice, your left heel bone can bear the whole mass of your body.

Bone density strengthens as you resist gravity, so instead of collapsing your weight on the left heel, grow your weight upward from it. Feel the density of your left heel positioning the strength of your left knee, hip, and tail bone into equilibrium. Feel the tail bone elongating each vertebra of your spine through the top of your head, just like a puppet string were pulling through you.

By now you should feel proud, and so draw your palms together and give yourself a nod of congratulations; your left leg is stronger than ever, time to repeat the process with your right one.

 

Four Point Posture

Woman modeling the four point posture exercise

 

Most bone density exercises focus toward the feet and legs, just like the one-foot posture exercise described above. Keep in mind that your arms are equally important to strong bone health, as strong arms also position your spine toward uprightness.

To exercise your arm’s bone density, stand by a chair and reach down for it with both hands.

Slowly take steps away from the chair. Notice with each step how more and more weight is born by your hands. Play around in this gap: stepping closer to the chair will cause more weight to shift to the feet, while stepping away necessitates more arm strength.

Like playing a game of catch, pass your weight from the balls of your feet to your palms. Then, shift your weight from the knees to your elbows. Feel how the weight can balance back and forth from hips to shoulders.  Finally, settle the dynamic to your very center in equilibrium between all four limbs.

Can you find the exact point in the middle in which all four limbs bear an equal amount of your bone density? This is the sweet spot to hold as you resist gravity.