Bone & Muscle Health

Bone & Muscle Health Articles

Don’t be such a stiff

It’s not known why people experience more morning stiffness as they age. Stiffness often occurs after long bouts of inactivity, which is why people feel so stiff when they wake up, since sleeping is when people are inactive for the longest continuous time. Stiffness also can happen after sitting for long periods like when watching TV, working at the computer, having dinner, or riding in a car. Staying active during the day and adopting a morning stretching routine can help prevent stiffness and soreness. (Locked) More »

Exercise can help you keep your bones strong

Resistance training exercises aren’t just good for your heart; they can also improve your bone health. While adult women may not be able to build new bone as rapidly as children do, activities such as jogging and resistance training can stimulate new growth that can prevent age-related bone loss and osteoporosis. (Locked) More »

Setting up a home gym

Regular strength training can help older men slow muscle loss and even increase muscle mass into their 90s. One challenge they face is finding the time and place to exercise. Joining a gym or enlisting a personal trainer can help maintain regular workouts, but for those who cannot make it to the gym or afford a trainer or gym fees, setting up a home gym is a great alternative. (Locked) More »

Take that, muscle cramps!

When muscle cramps strike suddenly, gently stretching the muscle can relieve pain. A shortcut for nighttime leg cramp stretches is sitting up in bed, looping the blanket around the foot, and gently pulling the toes up while keeping the knee straight. A “child’s pose” yoga posture can help ease back cramps. A “forward bend” yoga pose may relieve hamstring cramps. After stretching the muscle, it helps to put a heating pad on the area to promote blood flow, and then to gently massage the muscle. (Locked) More »

3 surprising risks of poor posture

Poor posture is associated with many problems, such as back pain, poor balance, headaches, and breathing difficulties. Poor posture can also promote incontinence, constipation, and heartburn. Physical therapists can help improve poor posture by customizing a program of exercises and stretches to improve a person’s core muscle strength and flexibility. The goal is a neutral, upright spine position—not flexed too far forward or backward. To attain the neutral spine position, one should put the shoulders down and back, pull the head back, and engage the core muscles. More »

Easy upper-body boosters

The loss of muscle mass begins in one’s 30s and accelerates after age 60. A loss of upper-body strength can make it more difficult to complete daily activities, and it may also increase the risk for muscle injury during an activity that involves reaching. A physical therapy program can help increase muscle mass in older age. A program typically involves gentle stretching to keep muscles supple, plus strengthening exercises like triceps curls, with low amounts of weight (just a few pounds) and a high number of repetitions. More »

Extra protein does not build more muscle

While it might seem natural to think that increasing protein intake could help improve muscle strength and performance, a new study confirmed that taking in more than the Recommended Dietary Allowance did not improve lean body mass, muscle performance, or physical function among older men. More »

Should I get a bone density test?

Bone density tests are not routinely recommended for older men as there is no strong evidence they can benefit from osteoporosis-preventing medications. Lifestyle changes involving smoking, exercise, and alcohol intake can have the biggest impact on bone health. More »