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Increase Healthy Longevity by 80 Percent


It’s that time of year for making new resolutions for 2020. Some of you may be considering a new exercise routine or you just want to move more. Today, I want to talk about how resistance training affects your bone health. Low resistance workouts are great, such as swimming, walking, or the elliptical machine, but they should not be your only form of exercise. To keep your body and your bones healthy, it is important to incorporate resistance training into your routine. Resistance exercise is especially critical if you’re at risk for osteoporosis.

Some risk factors include:

• Early menopause

• Taking corticosteroid medicines like Prednisone

• Rheumatoid arthritis

• Being 65+ years old

Incorporating resistance training is so easy. You can begin with taking a yoga, Pilates or group class. I encourage you, if you can, to engage in group classes or have a session with a trainer at first. This will help you prevent injuries and problems which are caused by incorrect body alignment and poor form. Besides, group classes are fun, as you’re fully engaged by the instructor who keeps the class moving, and before you know it, you’ve completed a full workout in a short amount of time.

What’s the best exercise to prevent or reverse osteoporosis?

Walking is good for your bones and your health. However, when it comes to walking and bone density in postmenopausal women, walking only improves one small part of the hip, but not other parts of your skeleton. That’s why it is a good idea to mix strength training with brisk walking for optimal bone density. Women can help protect themselves with regular weight-bearing exercise (two to three times per week with handheld weights, body resistance, or weight machines) or yoga and Pilates. Both yoga and Pilates count as strength building. Regular strength training increases your bone density, helping counter both hormonal and metabolic changes that can cause calcium loss and, ultimately, osteoporosis. And the positive side-effect of strength training is your body composition changes. You'll notice the problem areas where you were frustrated with have vanished. Your body feels stronger, and you will look and feel sexy again. Who doesn't want that?

There are several ways to get resistance training at home. Online classes such as Pilates and Yoga Anytime, Beachbody On Demand and more local studios are offering on-demand classes. If you own a Peloton bike, they offer additional classes as well. So you can hop on the bike, do a 30-minute ride, then stream one of their on-demand fitness classes to complete your workout.

Healthy aging should include resistance training. Too many people are taking the opposite approach as they age. They stop exercising and stop incorporating movement into their day. This sedentary lifestyle accelerates the aging process. Your choices matter each day. When you become self-aware of how you manage your health and your body, you won't become a victim of a chronic illness or disease. And you will have a high-quality life.

Cheers to you in 2020!

PS: My new book, Take Command of Your Total Health, A Woman's Guide To Fearless Aging, is now an Amazon Best Seller in the Woman's Health Category! This book has everything you need to age in health and offers tons of information on diet, exercise, gut health, hormonal health, and delicious recipes. You can purchase it on Amazon here.

Are you local to Massachusetts? I'll be doing a mini-workshop around Aging in Health, Weight Loss Challenges, and more, on January 7th, 2020, 5:45 to 8:00 PM at Total Wine and More in Burlington. There will be wine tasting as well! For more information, and tickets, click here.

To your health and happiness!

Donna Markussen

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