By Bhavan Kumar
How does Yoga help bone density? An increasing number of individuals are finding themselves suffering with ailments related to a weakening of the bones. Age is typically blamed for this decrease in bone density and strength, but in truth extreme bone weakness is not a normal side effect of aging. This new problem has only been an issue in recent years, and our current lifestyle is to blame. Postmenopausal women are most prone to bone weakness, but this problem is starting to extend to young women and even men. The bones are like anything else in the body and must be used in order to be strong and durable. If you are looking to boost your bone density and strength, yoga could be the answer for you.
The bones are easy to overlook by even the most health conscious of individuals. We give a lot of consideration to the health of the muscles, skin, brain and even blood, but not the bones. The bones serve as the body’s quiet foundation and deserve to be maintained. Bones don’t ask for a lot; all they need is to be exercised on a daily basis.
When we think of exercise, we usually think of weight loss or building up muscle, but the bones are also impacted in a positive manner during a good exercise session. Weight bearing exercises stimulate increased bone density because the muscles pull against the bones during the workout. The bones respond to this pressure and stress by building themselves up. The stronger the muscle, the more pressure is put on the bones.
Any activity that makes the bodywork against the forces of gravity will increase bone density naturally, but not all weight bearing activities are created equal. A large number of them, including jogging and step aerobics, put a great deal of wear and tear on the delicate cartilage of the joints. This makes these exercises less than ideal for the long haul. Yoga is a weight bearing exercise that effectively builds up density in the bones and increases muscle strength without putting excessive stress on the joints, making it the perfect lifelong physical practice for maintaining movement and agility. In addition, yoga strengthens the hips, wrists and spine, which are more prone to problems than other bone structures.
Backbends strengthen and support the spine while seated poses safely open up and work the hips like nothing else. Cobra Pose counteracts the forward hunch that many individuals with bone loss suffer from and also improves posture. Standing poses work the hip bones by putting a great deal of weight on them in a gentle and effective manner and Downward Facing Dog puts weight on the upper spine and the wrists, strengthening these delicate bone structures naturally over time.
Making yoga a part of your daily routine is a simple and easy way to maintain the best bone health possible, and the best part is that it only requires about 30 minutes a day. There is no reason not to incorporate this healthy practice into your everyday life. Practicing yoga for bone density is one more way to take care of skeletal health.
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