Weighted Vests proven to help women protect their bones
Check out these 2 research studies that show exercising with a weighted vest helps prevent bone loss and hip fractures in older women. It’s comforting to know that I have been improving my bone density all these years while I have been maximizing my work outs with our Empower weighted vests!
Long-term exercise using weighted vests prevents hip bone loss in postmenopausal women
C M SFitnessnow 1, J M Shaw, K M Winters, K A Witzke
Background: Bone mineral density (BMD) is a primary risk factor for hip fracture. We studied the effect of long-term weighted vest plus jumping exercise on hip BMD in postmenopausal women as a strategy for reducing hip fracture risk.
Methods: Eighteen postmenopausal women (age = 64.1 +/- 1.6 years at baseline, 69.9 +/- 1.6 years at post-testing) who had participated in a 9-month exercise intervention volunteered for the long-term trial. Nine of the original group engaged in weighted vest plus jumping exercise three times per week for 32 weeks of the year over a period of 5 years. Nine of the original controls were active but not enrolled in the exercise program. BMD of the proximal femur was assessed by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry at baseline and after 5 years.
Results: At baseline, groups were similar for age, weight, height, years past menopause, and BMD of the femoral neck, trochanter, and total hip. At follow-up, differences in BMD at all regions of the hip were higher in exercisers than controls. For exercisers, changes in BMD were + 1.54% +/- 2.37%, -0.24% +/- 1.02%, and -0.82% +/- 1.04% (means + SE) at the femoral neck, trochanter, and total hip, respectively; controls decreased at all sites (-4.43% +/- 0.93%. 3.43% +/- 1.09%, and -3.80% +/- 1.03%, respectively).
Conclusions: A 5-year program of weighted vest plus jumping exercise maintains hip BMD by preventing significant bone loss in older postmenopausal women. Furthermore, this particular program appears to promote long-term adherence and compliance, as evidenced by the commitment of the exercisers for more than 5 years.
Weighted vest exercise improves indices of fall risk in older women
J M Shaw 1, C M Snow
Background: Bone mass and fall propensity are two major risk factors for hip fracture. Our intent was to determine if weight-bearing exercises with added resistance from weighted vests would improve dynamic balance, muscle strength and power, and bone mass in postmenopausal women, thereby reducing risk for falls and hip fracture.
Methods: Forty-four nonsmoking, community-dwelling, Caucasian women aged 50-75 years participated in the study. All participants were at least 5 years past menopause and most were estrogen-deplete (n = 36). Bone mass and body composition were assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, muscular strength by isokinetic dynamometry, muscular power by modified Wingate Anaerobic Power Test, and indices of postural stability by dynamic posturography. Half of the subjects participated in a 9-month regimen of weight-bearing exercises performed three times a week that emphasized lower-body muscle strength and power development. Resistance was added progressively and individually by the use of a weighted vest. Controls maintained customary diet and activity patterns.
Results: Significant improvements were observed for indices of lateral stability, lower-body muscular strength (16-33% increase), muscular power (13% increase), and leg lean mass (3.5% increase) in exercisers vs controls (p < .05). No significant changes (p > .05) were detected for femoral neck bone mass in exercisers or controls at the conclusion of the trial.
Conclusions: Lower body exercise, using a weighted vest for resistance, provides an effective means of improving key indices of falls in postmenopausal women.
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