During adolescence, most of us recall our mother’s marching orders to “Stand up straight!” Fortunately, standing up straight wasn’t a problem for most: simply retract the shoulders, contract the abdominals, allow the head to come back, and lift the torso out of the pelvis. Yet for others, the act of standing upright wasn’t, and still isn’t, quite that easy — one hip may be higher than the other, one side of the rib cage lower. Whatever the case, all the pelvic tucking, shoulder retracting, and chin raising are usually in vain.
While many types of exercise may be beneficial to your health, only a few can increase bone strength. Researchers at Washington University recently studied the effects of both resistance (weight training) and impact training (aerobic exercise, running) on 27 non-active women. Both styles of training put pressure on the skeletal framework, thus provoking a rise in calcium absorption. One group performed only resistance training while the other did only impact training. After nine months, both groups increased bone density by 2 percent.