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The Good and Bad of Stress and your Bone Health

I often talk about stress and the body's reaction to stress. We are quick to assume that stress is always negative. It absolutely can be negative, but many positives come from stress. Stress is defined as a state of strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. There are multiple types of stress, physical, emotional, and mental. Regardless of which stress you are under, they all affect your bone health, positively or negatively. When dealing with your bone health, stress plays a vital role in the development and breaking down of bone density. Here is how your body reacts to physical and mental stressors.

Mental Stress

Chronic mental stress leads to an overproduction of cortisol. Short durations of cortisol is needed to regulate the body's stress response. It is the body's natural response to perceived threats. Cortisol is essential in the process of blood pressure regulation and inflammation control. Unfortunately, too much of anything is not a good thing. Excessive cortisol can wreak havoc on your bone health. Chronic cortisol release will interfere with osteoblast production. Osteoblast are the cells used in bone formation. For healthy bones, we need a balance between osteoclast and osteoblast. Both are required to clean out and build new bone. If there is an imbalance in his process more bone is being withdrawn than deposited, causing a decrease in bone density. Chronic mental stress can come in many forms: overworking, undersleeping, and perceiving circumstances as unfavorable. Here are some great tips to combat chronic stress: Deep breathing techniques, mindfulness meditation, yoga or tai chi practice, getting appropriate amounts of quality sleep, regular exercise program, and finding balance in your family, social and work-life. For more tips on stress reduction check out Wellness 360 Mind/Body Fusion class starting Sept 23rd.

Physical Stress.

As we age, there are multiple reasons to get active! It is never too late to start an exercise routine for your health! Strengthening your muscles is a great way to improve your balance and posture. Strength training is also great for your bone health. Studies show that physical activity at a moderate-intense level can slow bone loss that comes with aging. Strength training or resistance training builds muscle, increases tendon strength, and improves bone density. With strength training, the pulling force of the tendons on the bone stimulates new bone growth. More importantly, muscle strengthening can decrease your fracture risk. Osteoporosis itself is not harmful, it is the fracture risk that is concerning and can be debilitating. The fracture rate significantly increases with the Osteopenia and Osteoporosis diagnosis. The good news is that bone loss can be prevented, or reversed with lifestyle changes. Strength training can include weight training, resistance training, and bodyweight exercises. Exercise with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia does come with risk factors. It is essential to work with someone who knows the risk factors involved in strength training with the Osteoporosis diagnosis.

Wellness 360 is a great place to start. Wellness 360 Fitness offers multiple ways to improve your posture, balance, and strength. Each class is designed and led by Physical Therapists ensuring safe modifications per your health needs. Enjoy our Osteoporosis wellness program online with Wellness Plus. Our Wellness Plus classes are pre-recorded exercise videos per your diagnosis. Each diagnosis comes with an easy to follow calendar that makes working out safe, effective, and fun. Each month new videos are uploaded giving you the best evidence-based exercises specific to your needs. We also offer virtual classes and physical therapy with our partnering company Genesee Valley Physical Therapy. Let us help you on your path to improved health and wellness.


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