How to keep strong bones

Our bones are a living matter remodeling continuously, which means old pieces of bone are replaced by new tissues. Around every 10 years we’ve got a new skeleton – and we’re not even aware of it!

To keep the bones strong, we have to invest in them daily: by consuming healthy food and regular physical activity. Let’s understand why exercising makes bones strong and last long and how yoga can help.

Nourishing healthy bones

We’ve all heard about consuming calcium derived from dairy products as being important for bones. Proteins, vitamin D and others are also of the same importance. This article from Healthline gives you a few guidelines about nutritional habits you should  adopt for keeping your bones strong.

Why do bones need exercising?

It is important to understand that for the continuous remodeling of the bones, weak pieces are replaced by weak tissues and strong pieces… yes, by new strong tissues. In childhood and till around into the twenties, one can increase the bone strength with proper eating and exercising habits. Later on, we just can work on maintaining what we accrued in young years, and so contribute to avoiding broken bones in silly accidents, osteoporosis or osteopenia.

Bones particularly need to be strained, in order to keep their density. The more you stress them, put weight on them, the longer they last. And also conversely to this.

Use them or lose them!

Standing or walking loads the bones in your spine and legs with the weight above them. That’s one of the reasons why a daily 30-minute walk is so important.

The bones in the arms are less loaded in our modern daily life. In some specific trainings like tennis, body building or sometimes in yoga, arms are charged just like other parts of the body or even more.

In Yoga for your Back, inspired by Svastha Yoga Therapy, the poses will be adapted to the person’s need and abilities. For example, in plank pose, which engages your arms and core muscles, you will be encouraged to drop your knees, if this feels better for you. The pose can be practised in a dynamic way to feel less painful, but you still spend some time, might it be short, bearing the weight of your body on your arms.

Other methods are gentle isometric exercises without any visible movement – yet powerful, see following example.

Yoga Example: Kneading

  • From Table Top (or Cat/Cow shoulders over wrists, hips over knees)
  • Inhale and push the right hand into the floor, on exhale relax.
  • Change hand and repeat a few times.

There’s nothing visible from the outside, however you immediately feel the effect on the bones and muscles in your arms and shoulders produced by this yoga exercise.

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Yoga Example: Strong Cat

  • You then place your toes on the floor.
  • Inhale and lift both knees just 1 or 2 cm over the floor.
  • With the exhalation drop the knees.
  • Repeat a few times and then hold the knees in the air for a few breaths.

In addition to the bones and muscles in your arms, all your core muscles are engaged. And by aligning your head with your spine and so keeping it straight, your back muscles are enhanced as well.

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Taking Action

For taking action and practice 30 minutes twice a week, have a look at the upcoming program. Try with a drop-in or free class and then start with a 4-week program, you’ll feel the change!

This post is also available in: French German