Staying active while aging can help bone and joint health

By Michelle Champalanne • Published: November 11th, 2014
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Keeping your bones and joints healthy and strong as you age may be as simple as going to the gym.

A recent study found that regular physical activity, along with a healthy diet, can help minimize both bone and joint health deterioration.

Prior research suggested there was an inevitable deterioration of the body and its functions as we age. However, bone-building benefits from physical activity, such as increasing muscle mass and cartilage volume, all help maintain peak physical function and health.

Recent studies reveal age-related deterioration within the body is more commonly linked to a sedentary lifestyle, rather remaining active into one’s older years.

Thus, researchers recommend following a regimen that involves resistance, endurance, flexibility and balance training. These activities target and maintain different areas of the body.

Resistance training increases muscle strength and bone mass more than just aerobic exercise. It can also eliminate fat mass while building lean muscle. Strengthening bone mass will reduce the risk of strains, sprains and acute fractures.

In addition, endurance training promotes heart health and increases oxygen consumption.

The last type of training, flexibility and balance, allows older adults to maintain their range of motion, optimize performance and limit future injury.

The study also recommends eating a nutritious diet full of protein and carbs.

If you aren’t already active, the researchers suggest gradually increasing the amount of physical activity you do each day. After all, a little extra exercise daily will help keep your bones and joints strong as you age.