Bone & Muscle Health

Bone & Muscle Health Articles

3 easy exercises to get you started with strength training

It’s estimated that only 30% of American adults do the twice-per-week strength training recommended by experts. Some people think they need special equipment to perform strength-building exercises, while others just don’t know where to start. Adding three simple exercises—push-ups, reverse lunges, and planks—to one’s physical activity twice a week can help improve strength, which may help a person stay independent longer. (Locked) More »

Is male menopause real?

In general, men don’t really go through "menopause" because testosterone levels slowly decline over many decades. Symptoms such as low energy and decreased sex drive can sometimes be related to low testosterone levels that may improve with replacement therapy. (Locked) More »

Beyond fractures: The fall injuries you don’t always hear about

Falls cause many serious and sometimes fatal injuries. For example: fractures can cause people to become temporarily or permanently disabled; long periods recuperating in bed can lead to pneumonia; and head injuries can trigger bleeding in the space between the skull and the brain. People who fall and are unable to move for hours may develop a potentially life-threatening breakdown of muscle tissue that can cause kidney failure. With so much at stake, it’s crucial to do everything possible to avoid falls, such as addressing underlying conditions that cause imbalance. (Locked) More »

Choosing a home exercise machine

Home exercise machines such as treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bikes, and rowing machines can make it easier to get regular, heart-protecting, aerobic exercise. Certain machines may be more appropriate for different people, depending on their history of joint or muscle trouble or other health problems. For those with knee or hip arthritis or balance issues, a stationary bike may be best, while treadmills and elliptical machines are best for people concerned about preventing osteoporosis. More »

Resistance training by the numbers

Resistance training (also known as strength training) consists of doing upper- and lower-body exercises using free weights (like dumbbells, kettlebells, or barbells), weight machines, resistance bands, or even body weight. It is regarded as one of the best ways to slow and even reverse age-related muscle loss, known as sarcopenia. The constant challenge with resistance training is finding that happy medium between doing too little and too much. New guidelines suggest people should focus on five categories: type of exercise, reps, weight, sets, and frequency. (Locked) More »

What to look for in an online exercise video for older adults

A good workout video for older adults will be tailored to their health needs. It should have a warm-up, workout, cool-down, some stretching, an inspiring tone, tips to maintain the proper form, and the ability to make modifications. Types of workouts for older adults include low-impact cardio, tai chi, yoga, seated yoga, marching in place, resistance band exercises, and body weight workouts. Online exercise classes from Harvard Health Publishing are designed specifically for older adults. (Locked) More »

Don’t let muscle mass go to waste

Age-related muscle loss is a natural part of getting older. But muscle loss can occur faster after an injury, illness, or any prolonged period of inactivity, leading to muscle atrophy. The consequences can mean overall weakness, poor balance, and even frailty. The good news is that it’s possible to rebuild lost muscle through a comprehensive program that includes physical therapy, strength training, cardio, flexibility, and a nutrition plan that includes more protein and calories. More »

Are you healthy enough to age in place?

There are many health-related requirements for living independently in older age. For example, one needs sharp thinking skills in order to manage medications, pay bills, choose clothes for the day, and select and buy groceries; and one needs strength, balance, and flexibility in order to get up from a chair, cook, or clean. People with weakening aspects of health should talk to a doctor for potential solutions to improve or cope with health challenges in order to continue living independently. More »

Protect your bones with tai chi

Tai chi is a gentle exercise that helps prevent falls and may reduce the chance of a bone fracture. Those who perform tai chi see a 20% to 40% reduction in fall risk. In addition, there is some evidence that tai chi may help reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women, because it is a weight-bearing exercise that can stimulate bone growth. The practice helps reverse age-related changes such as muscle weakness and slow reaction time. More »