Unless floating in water or being one of the few who orbit the earth, we all deal with gravity every moment of our lives.
The force of gravity is in fact essential for health. The long-duration astronauts on the International Space Station lose bone mass at a high rate, and despite exercise programmes and supplements it takes them several years to recover. Weightlessness may be fun, but it is not good for the body.
Here is how the pull of the planet can improve your health.
Although adult bones do not grow in size, they are constantly being remodelled. Around 10% of your bone mass is replaced each year, with the old bone being absorbed and new bone replacing it. These two processes are kept in balance by loading on the bones, primarily from gravity but also from muscles.
All this will pay great dividends in later life and help to reduce the chance of osteoporosis. Remember to eat your calcium too!
We all need ‘weight-bearing’ exercise. Walking, running and carrying are three everyday activities that count towards this, as well as your workouts.
Adding more muscle load to your bones does not necessarily mean weight lifting. You can use your own bodyweight as ‘inbuilt dumb-bells’. This loads the bones (and muscles) and builds strength.
The advantage of bodyweight exercises is that no equipment is needed, so they can be done anywhere that has space. Try this no-equipment bodyweight workout for muscle and bone strengthening. In the gym, pull ups and chin ups make you weight-lift that bodyweight.
With modern gym equipment, you can fly without the zero-g aeroplane! Suspension training setups allow you to work with your body weight and elastic resistance to build muscle and bone. Give those TRX straps a try or if you can find a Spiderband studio, you can be a flying superhero with your friends.
Whether on or off the ground, make the most of gravity for fitness!
I discover that keeping up bone strength is not just for women -men are less prone to osteoporosis but it can still happen and isn't what anyone wants. Bring on the weights!
Approaching 40 means that I am thinking much more about weight-bearing exercise so this is good to know stuff
my nearest gym has been promising those strap things for ages - can't wait! I imagine they are expensive to set up but they look so much fun!