I am really excited to share with you this weekend’s challenge, the Enhanced Osteogenic Loader. It’s not only a fun move that builds bone in key areas, but it can actually play an important role in prolonging your life.
Two breakthrough studies reveal a substantial life expectancy increase that's directly attributed to exercise. The amazing part is that it doesn't involve long hours or strenuous workouts!
Isn’t this great news? You see, weekend challenges like today’s can be a part of your daily exercise, including osteogenic loading, which targets specific areas of the skeleton and stimulates bones to build up their density and strength.
The Enhanced Osteogenic Loader is perfect for cold weather, since it can be done indoors. As you’ll see, it combines cardio exercise with targeted toning and weight-bearing.
Here are the main muscle groups worked with this exercise and the corresponding bones.
These muscles in the front of your upper arms are one of the simplest to work. As they contract and expand, the biceps stimulate bone growth in your humerus (the bone in your upper arm) and your elbow joint. Working the biceps also benefits your shoulder joint, since this muscle originates at the top of the scapula.
These are the muscles in the front of your thigh. The quads are a group of four muscle strips that run from the top of your thigh to your knees. They consist of the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, medialis, and intermedius.
The rectus femoris is the largest of the three, originating at the ilium of the pelvis and running straight down to attach at the patella (knee cap) and top of the tibia (shin bone). Its straight course from hip to knee is what earned it the first part of its name, rectus.
The vastus muscles make up the muscles of the outer, inner, and middle front of the thigh.
The quads strengthen your knee and hip joints as well as your femur bone.
The side-to-side hopping motion of the Enhanced Osteogenic Loader provides bone-building load to your ankle joints. Strong, flexible ankles improve balance and, of course, are less likely to fracture.
The muscles that make up the buttocks are some of the largest in the body. In fact, the gluteus maximus is the largest and heaviest muscle, and when it atrophies from inactivity (such as prolonged sitting), your whole body suffers.
The gluteus minimus and medius are smaller, but no less important. All of the “glutes” attach to the pelvis and top of the femur.
Strong glutes are vital for proper posture, a strong gait, and correct alignment of the pelvis, femur, and lower back.
Strong thighs help reduce knee pain and align the joint. The bending and straightening of the legs as well as the sideways movement in this exercise load the knees and stimulate bone growth, and also increase muscle strength. Strong, aligned knees are an excellent safeguard against falls.
Hip fractures are not only painful – they can have a devastating impact on your quality of life. Osteogenic loading in the pelvic joints is essential for bone rejuvenation in this vital area.
You’ll need a couple of small weights to perform this exercise. If you do not have a set of dumbbells, you can use water bottles or cans of food.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the weights with your elbows bent, palms facing up.
- Hop to one side (let’s say to the right) and as you land on your right leg, bend the right knee in a slight squat and bring your left leg behind you to the right, bending your left knee and lightly touching the floor with your toes behind and to the right of your right foot.
- Now straighten your knees as you hop to the left, landing on your left foot and bringing your right leg back behind you and touching the floor with your toes.
- Each time you hop, bring the weights up to your shoulders when you land. Bring the weights back down as you hop to the other side, and back up to your shoulders when you land.
- Two hops, one on each side, makes one set. Aim for eight to 10 sets, or simply put a timer on for 30 seconds and perform the exercise until the time is up. As always, start out within your fitness level and challenge yourself only insofar as you feel comfortable.
- If you find this too challenging at first, go slowly and step to the side rather than hopping.
- If you want more of a challenge, squat more deeply and propel yourself upward as you hop from side to side.
- Another way to increase the challenge is to keep the back leg up off the floor when you land – don’t let your toes touch the floor.
- Keep your core engaged and your chest up throughout the exercise.
- Keep your shoulders square and facing front; don’t twist.
- Maintain a straight back throughout the exercise; make sure you lean forward bending at your hips.
Try following up this move with other Weekend Challenges, such as the Hip Bone Builder, which works similar areas of the body. Now you’re well on your way to those 15 daily minutes! Why is this so important? Let’s explore the research that reveals why.
Exercise More And Live Longer, Study Shows
Scientists evaluated the data in a comprehensive study known as the Copenhagen City Heart Study, which involved about 20,000 people, aged 20 to 93, over the course of several decades (the study began in 1973 and is still ongoing). The primary emphasis was on individuals between the ages of 35 to 70. This massive study revealed – and continues to reveal – some remarkable truths about the effects of exercise on longevity and life quality.
Essentially, the participants were divided into two groups: joggers and non-joggers. The difference in the death rates between these two groups is jaw-dropping: 10,158 non-joggers died while a mere 122 deaths were reported among joggers.
The joggers who experienced the optimal health benefits jogged for about 60 to 90 minutes per week divided into three sessions. That translates to an average of one hour and 15 minutes per week, or 25 minutes divided between three days a week. The benefits are remarkable, as the study notes in its conclusion:
“…jogging up to 2.5 h per week at a slow or average pace and a frequency of #3 times per week was associated with the lowest mortality (increase in survival: 6.2 years in men and 5.6 years in women). Those who jogged >4 h per week, at a fast pace, and >3 times per week appeared to lose many of the longevity benefits noted with less strenuous doses of jogging.”1 [emphasis added]
One of the study authors, Peter Schnohr, sums up these incredible findings in one simple phrase:
“The good news is that you don’t actually need to do that much to reap the benefits.”2
In fact, according to research published in The Lancet, individuals who exercise just 15 minutes a day experience:
“…a 14% reduced risk of all-cause mortality…and had a 3 year longer life expectancy. Every additional 15 min of daily exercise beyond the minimum amount of 15 min a day further reduced all-cause mortality by 4%… These benefits were applicable to all age groups and both sexes, and to those with cardiovascular disease risks.”3
If you can’t jog or prefer to walk, don’t despair – research supports the health benefits of walking as well. If you can combine the two into a walk-sprint-walk pattern, you can obtain some of the healthful effects of jogging without having to jog continually for your entire exercise session.
The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System Takes Just 15 Minutes A Day
In addition to walking and jogging for overall health and longevity, targeted exercise is crucial for reversing bone loss and preventing fractures. Once again, regularity beats out intensity for optimal benefits: with Densercise™, it only takes 15 minutes a day, three days a week to build strong bones in key areas.
In addition, moves that mimic the motions of walking and jogging combine the best of both worlds, and they can be incorporated easily into an outdoor or indoor routine. You’ll find many similar moves in Densercise™, such as the Parade March (page 18) and the Hopscotch Jump (page 26).
I hope this has inspired you to start or continue exercising for a longer, healthier, fracture-free life.
Enjoy the weekend!
1 Aguib, Yasmine and Suwaidi, Jassim Al. “The Copenhagen City Heart Study (Osterbroundersøgelsen).” Glob Cardiol Sci Pract. 2015. 3. (2015): 33. Web. October 28, 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4625209/
2 Barrett, Mike. “Start Jogging To Extend Life By Up To 6 Years.” Natural Society. September 5, 2012. Web. October 28, 2016. https://naturalsociety.com/jogging-exercising-extend-life-6-years-more/
3 Dr. Wen, Chi Pang, et al. “Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study.” 378. 9798. (2011): 1244-1253. Web. October 28, 2016. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2811%2960749-6/abstract