Bones keep growing till you are around 30. After 30, bone growth starts stalling and reducing. People get issues such as Osteoporosis (porous bones). The biggest issue with Osteoporosis is that the symptoms are not seen till you fall and break your bones. Once that happens probability of dying increases sharply. Howe do we arrest porous bones and related issues?
To start, imagine you are building a house. The basic foundation of it are the bricks. If the bricks are not laid properly and tightly the house will collapse sooner or later. Porous brick, loosely tightened bricks, unevenly distributed bricks, etc will make the foundation weak. You might decorate the house with beautiful interiors and exteriors but the slight storm, quake or even a playful shove will bring the house down.
To remove the porousness of the brick, the clay used to make the brick has to be tightly packed. To evenly distribute the bricks, more bricks have to be added closely. To tightly connect the bricks, good quality cement has to be used and pressure has to be applied to ensure that the bricks are glued tightly to nearby bricks.
In the same analogy, the bones are the bricks of your body. Bones are made up of minerals (primarily calcium), proteins, connective tissues, blood vessels, nerves and marrow. You can eat good food like leafy vegetables, dairy products, supplements, etc to make the bones. However, if you don’t put pressure on the bones, the bones will not get tighter and stronger. To put pressure, you have to put load in the form of resistance exercises. Body weight workouts, resistance band workouts, weighted workouts, etc will put the load and raise the demand on the body and the bones to become stronger.
Let’s look at the above point from a different angle. Say you do not exercise or don’t do much body weight or resistance training. With age the muscles start waning away as it does not have to grow because you are not putting enough strain on it. Now the bones don’t need to be strong to manage so little muscles. Plus if your nutrition is not strong, the bones don’t have a reason to maintain itself. Bones now starts losing calcium and become just strong to manage the bare minimum muscles that you have. Suddenly you realize that your bones have got porous (Osteoporosis). Realising this, you start ingesting supplements and eating healthy. But the bones are still not getting the motivation/feedback to get stronger as it still does not have to carry enough load or muscles.
One way to increase load on the bones is by becoming fat. But fat also increases inflammation and causes other issues. Plus it does not make you look good. Hence, fat loading is out. The second way to increase the load is by doing resistance training. Suddenly the body realizes that it needs to become stronger to manage external loads. Your body starts building muscles. To manage the increased muscles and also the increased load, the bones start building themselves. The bones become tighter and are not porous anymore. Plus the added benefit of resistance training is that you start feeling good and looking great. Ain’t that freakin’ awesome.
To summarize, just nutrition alone is not enough to build back your bones. You need to exercise with loads to build stronger bones. So why wait? Let us know how you want to incorporate strength training or resistance training into your routine?
Pic- Credit : jamieoliver.com , healthspectra.com