Exercise Stimulates Bone Electricity

Exercise is beneficial for almost every aspect of health – bones included.  But exercise is especially important for the formation of new bone.  Bones actually have electrical properties that are stimulated by exercise and by certain bone-building elements, like silicon.  When pressure is applied to bone – by exercise or a mechanical force – bones react by giving off an electrical charge.  When bone electricity is harnessed, it can be used to promote new bone growth.

The process still has a lot of unknowns, but what we do know is that bones have a framework of fibers called collagen, and calcium crystals stick to that framework.  Special proteins are needed as the ‘glue’ that keeps calcium crystals attached to the framework. And all three components need to be healthy in order to have strong bones.  You might think that the formation of these calcium crystals needs a lot of calcium to increase the amount of calcium in bone - but too much calcium actually makes bones brittle. Research has shown that more than 2000 mg of calcium a day increases the risk of fracture.

Low and high-impact exercises can spark bone electricity. Here are 3 to try for the spine:

1. Heel drops - raise your heel off the ground and stand on your tiptoes, come down, and repeat

2. The “Superman” position - lay on your stomach with legs and arms outstretched, hold

3. A fake push-up - hold the push up position to strengthen your core (beginners may keep their knees on the floor if that feels more stable)

Isometric exercises – a type of strength training – are also useful. This involves standing in a fixed spot while holding a weight or kettle ball. Fitness expert Wendie Pett has a great isometric program, Visibly Fit™ Babyboomer, with these types of exercises.  And our website has a long list of exercises to try.

Walking is not as beneficial for back strength because your legs absorb most of the impact, but walking is helpful for your hips.  Swimming has even less benefit than walking - but any exercise is better than none!

Bones need to be resilient and flexible because exercise puts repeated pressure and impact on bones and joints that can cause stress fractures. Nutritional supplements have been shown to help reduce the frequency of stress fractures in athletes and other very active professionals. The same protein framework for bones is also in hair and nails – and a common ingredient is silicon.  Silicon increases bone, hair and nail strength, and has electrical properties that change when pressure is applied. Silicon is 25 times more concentrated in new bone-forming proteins than in mature bone - and bone won’t form without adequate amounts of dietary silicon. It’s thought that silicon helps attract the calcium to the immature bone and then leaves after the calcium is attached. Silicon definitely plays a vital role in the bone formation and bone calcification  process

There are only a handful of dietary sources of silicon, which is why a supplement with an organic form of silicon is recommended for bone health.  Silical® System is the only supplement with the amount of silicon associated with increased bone density.

Bone electricity is an interesting topic and one that requires future research.  Taking what we know about exercise stimulating bone electricity, we can apply it to new treatments for bone remodeling that are exciting.

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