Friday, July 24, 2015

Hopping Can Lead to Strong Bones

Hopping on one leg can significantly improve bone density. British researchers have used 3D bone strength mapping to reveal remarkable gains.  The men were asked to hop on only one leg and the study compared the density and mass of the hip area of both legs.

Hopped On Leg
Cortical Hip Bone Mass increased by 2.7%
with localized regions of hip neck and shaft gaining 6% in exercised leg

Trabecular Density increased by 6.4%
inferior region of hip neck reached 12% gains in hopping leg

Cortical Density increased by 1.8%

These impressive results were obtained by 70-year old men who would normally experience aging bone loss each year. The gains were from the impact with each hop delivering 2.7 to 3 times body weight ground resistance force. While the study was done with men, there is no reason why women would not achieve the same gains from brief single-legged hopping. Most likely, one would obtain substantial benefits from one-legged hopping even if they did not reach the high impact level used in this study.

Try this plan:
*Warm up before each session
*Begin with low hops and jump higher each week
*Start with just a few one-legged hops each day and work up to 5 sets of 10
*Rest between sets, walking in place a bit
*Hold a chair for balance, if necessary
*As you get stronger, make hops multi-directional. Jump forward/back & side to side.

All of us are concerned with bone density as we age. I prefer to try natural methods to achieve health gains before turning to medication with it's potential side effects. This simple program can help all of us combat age-related bone loss and lead to better health overall. Include single-leg hops in your weekly exercise routine.

Hop Daily, Stay Active and Enjoy Your Food

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