Boosting Bone Density: The Lesser-Known Benefit of Combat Sports
“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.” This powerful statement by Mark Rippetoe, renowned strength training coach, is a call to arms, or perhaps more appropriately, a call to bones. One might not immediately link combat sports with bone health, but the connection is both significant and scientifically grounded.
Understanding the Connection
Engaging in combat sports does more than build muscle and improve cardiovascular health. As you grapple, punch, kick, and dodge, your body adapts not just by strengthening your muscles but also by enhancing your skeletal strength. These high-impact exercises stimulate the osteoblasts, the cells responsible for bone formation, encouraging denser, stronger bones.
Bone Density and Age
Our bone density typically peaks around the age of 30. After this, it’s a slow decline as we age, with the threat of osteoporosis looming in the later years. The good news? Combat sports can slow down this decline, contributing to better bone health as we age.
Choosing the Right Sport
From boxing to Brazilian jiu-jitsu, different combat sports offer various levels of bone-strengthening benefits. While any sport that puts stress on your bones will help, some sports, such as kickboxing and judo, involve more weight-bearing movements, which can have a higher impact on your bone health.
It’s All About Consistency
Like any form of exercise, consistency is key when it comes to boosting bone density through combat sports. Regular training, ideally under the guidance of an experienced coach, is crucial to reap these benefits.
In the words of legendary boxing champion Muhammad Ali, “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” This underscores that the journey to better bone health begins long before visible results, in the decisions you make each day about how to treat your body.
Interested in learning more about how combat sports can enhance your physical health? Ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle but need a little help staying accountable? I invite you to join my 12-week accountability coaching program. Together, we’ll create a routine that suits your needs and keeps you motivated in your journey towards improved bone health and overall wellbeing. Let’s start this journey together!