There are basically two things that you can do to lose weight: do more exercise or eat less. When people are faced with such an option, most people would opt for the first choice and perform exercise routines. Aside from the fact these people would rather bust moves than reduce the amount of food that they consume daily, nutritionists at Washington University have also found out that losing weight through exercise is better for your bones.
Exercise vs. Calorie Restriction
The researchers divided 48 adults into three groups. The first group was made to eat as healthy as possible; the second was given a calorie-restricted diet; while the third was made to exercise more. The participants in the second group consumed 16 to 20 percent less than the amount of calories that they burn everyday while those in the third group were made to burn 16 to 20 percent more than the amount that they consume daily.
After a year, the subjects were evaluated again. The results show that those in the second group lost 11 percent of their body weight while those in the third group lost 8 percent. Their bone mass densities were also measured through an x-ray. They found out that those who lost the most weight also lost the most bone mass.
With their findings, the researchers deduced that weight loss from exercise preserves BMD in clinical sites of fracture. Exercise is very important to prevent bone loss. But because a large amount of exercise is required to achieve meaningful weight loss, a good combination of exercise and calorie restriction would be a practical approach. With this, they recommend that exercise should be a part of any comprehensive weight loss program.
Bone Building Exercise
To strengthen the bones, the best exercises are those that are weight bearing, those that will force you to perform work against gravity. These include hiking, walking, jogging, and weight training. Although swimming, cycling and all the other non-weight wearing exercises can build muscles and give cardiovascular benefits, they are not considered to be the best exercise for your bones.
It is recommended that you have at least 30 minutes of physical activity preferably every day so as to ensure optimal bone health maintenance. If you currently have any health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart troubles, it would be better to check with your doctor first before going through any form of exercise.
Special consideration should be given to those that have bone problems such as osteoporosis. You might be recommended to avoid exercises that will twist, bend or flex your spine. If you have a low bone mass, you should also avoid high-impact exercises.
As you do your exercises, it is important that you constantly listen to your body. It is fairly normal to have some discomforts at the beginning of your exercise routine. However, if the pain persists for more than 48 hours, you might be working yourself too hard so put it down a notch. If you experience any chest discomforts or chest pains, stop exercising and consult your doctor before you continue exercising.