The best form of exercise to maintain height

The best form of exercise to maintain height

Written by: Gerda Endemann, PhD

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Published on: September 29, 2022

Photo courtesy of Heather Hazzan/The Licensing Project

Perhaps if we were aware of how early in life osteoporosis begins to develop and that its consequences are not limited to broken bones, we would take preventive action sooner, including weight-bearing exercise. Weight training builds strong bones as well as muscles and can help maintain our height and upright posture throughout life.

WHAT IS osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is diagnosed when the bones become so porous, weak and brittle that falling or coughing can cause fractures. Vertebrae in the spine lose bone mass, shrink and collapse. The results are:

  1. Loss of inches of height

  2. Back pain

  3. Crouched posture

  4. Broken bones

WHO IS MOST AT RISK FOR OSTEOPOROSIS?

This is not something to put off thinking about until you apply for Medicare. In our 30s, we slowly but surely begin to lose bone mass. Teens and 20s are the time to form as much bone as possible, and then it’s time to minimize bone loss. The likelihood of getting osteoporosis increases with age and is also higher in:

  1. Women, especially after menopause

  2. White and Asian people

  3. People who are underweight

  4. People who don’t absorb the calcium they eat because of GI disease, weight loss surgery, or insufficient vitamin D

HOW CAN YOU PREVENT BONE BROKENNESS?

Physical activity helps prevent osteoporosis. Especially weight-bearing activity can improve bone mineral density. And that includes the weight you carry around all day, whether it’s your normal body weight or ankle weights. People with low body weight are on higher risk of osteoporosis than those with a higher body weight.

Cells in the bones when they are subjected to stress and are made to bear weight. They respond by forming new bone cells, which strengthen the bones and reduce bone loss.

ADDING WEIGHT TO YOUR WORKOUTS

The easiest fix

Strapping these comfortable one- or two-pound weights to your wrists or ankles is a simple way to make everyday activities and workouts more challenging.


  1. BALA WEIGHTED WRIST BRACELET

    Bala
    WEIGHTED WRIST BRACELET
    goop, $55

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  2. BALA WEIGHTED WRIST BRACELET – 2 LB

    Bala
    WEIGHTED WRIST BRACELET – 2 LB
    goop, $65

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Tools to keep at hand

The soft silicone and neoprene coatings on these dumbbells make them comfortable to hold. Curl them, press them, lift them, swing them, throw them, dance with them.


  1. BALA POWER RING

    Bala
    POWER RING
    goop, $89

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  2. BALA BALA BARS

    Bala
    BALA BARS
    goop, $59

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  1. GAIAM NEOPRENE HAND WEIGHT, 10 LBS.

    GAIAM
    NEOPRENE HAND WEIGHT, 10 LBS.
    goop, $17.98

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  2. GAIAM NEOPRENE HAND WEIGHT, 5 LBS.

    GAIAM
    NEOPRENE HAND WEIGHT, 5 LBS.
    goop, $9.98

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  3. GAIAM NEOPRENE HAND WEIGHT, 3 LBS.

    GAIAM
    NEOPRENE HAND WEIGHT, 3 LBS.
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TONING MUSCLES AND BONES AND IMPROVING BALANCE

As we age, it’s not just our bones that shrink. Muscle loss happens unless we take active measures to counteract it, and toned muscles are important for maintaining balance. These tools boost muscles, bones and balance. That Strengthen shooters and Balance Ball Kit allows you to use your own body weight to stimulate bones and muscles and optimize balance.


  1. B YOGA STRENGTH SLIDES

    B Yoga
    STRONG SHOOTERS
    goop, $25

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  2. GAIAM TOTAL BODY BALANCE BALL SET

    GAIAM
    TOTAL BALANCE BALL SET
    goop, $20

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  3. CW&T FOREVER JUMP ROPE

    CW&T
    FOREVER JUMPING ROPE
    goop, $85

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AFTER TRAINING

Adding movement and weight gradually to your exercise routine should prevent any strain. But too little muscle pain from everyday activities, the Theragun Mini Rose provides a quiet, deep, percussive massage. And Therabody’s high-tech Powerdot 2.0 provides relief by using electrical signals to stimulate muscles and nerves. The well-designed app shows you how to use the Power Dot to help improve muscle performance as well.


  1. Therabody THERAGUN MINI ROSE

    Therabody
    THERAGUN MINI ROSE
    goop, $199

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  2. Therabody POWERDOT 2.0 DUO

    Therabody
    POWERDOT 2.0 DUO
    goop, $349

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NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT FOR BONE

Getting enough calcium and vitamin D throughout life as part of a healthy diet is essential reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium is a building block for bones, and vitamin D is essential for getting the calcium you eat into your body. Vitamin K helps transport calcium to your bones.

A square of chocolate FX sunshine contains generous amounts of bone-building vitamins D and K. These vitamins plus calcium are also found in goop’s daily multivitamin pack, The mother load. Additionally, this multivitamin protocol contains vitamin C to aid in the body’s production of collagen, which provides the scaffolding to keep calcium in the bones.*

Related reading on goop

How do you heal from an old, set-in injury?

Tracy Anderson’s 15-Minute Full Body Workout

10 tips to increase flexibility and mobility

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, and is not intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent this article contains medical or medical advice, the views expressed are those of the quoted expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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