Here’s an exciting twist to one of my favorite topics — how being a stronger woman makes for stronger bones. As I’ve reported many times before, strong muscles make for strong bones. But recently, Australian researchers took it one step further.
New study findings show that the strength of just one group of muscles was associated with an increase in bone mineral density body-wide
In this new study researchers looked at the relationship between hip flexor muscle strength and bone mineral density in 865 women who were between the ages of 27-97. Sure enough — the results were very clear about the connection between muscles and bone:
• The stronger the hip flexor muscles, the greater the bone mineral density at all sites
• For each increase in muscle strength there was an associated increase in bone mineral density
• The spine, forearm and the hip were all positively associated with hip muscle strength
Further, researchers also found that the amount of lean body mass (that is, the quantity of muscle mass) was important — perhaps even more so than the quality of muscle mass. Those women with greater lean body mass had greater hip flexor muscle strength and denser bones.
What This Means for You
This study reminds us again that muscles and bones form a single, tightly correlated unit. Muscle mass is directly related to bone density.
With age, we tend to lose both muscle mass and bone density. While this loss is a natural part of the lifecycle, our chosen lifestyle is a powerful player. That’s why I recommend that we all act to maintain our muscle mass with strength-building enjoyable exercises, and food-wise remember, the Alkaline For Life Eating Program which by its own action reduces loss of both muscle and bone. All of these elements are found in my Better Bones Programs.
Pasco, Julie et al, (September 2014) Do Strong Women Have Strong Bones? ASBMR 2014 Annual Meeting, abstract SU0442, Houston, Texas