5 exercises to boost bone health and ward off osteoporosis

CCarson September 28, 2023 6:16 PM

Keeping your bones healthy is vital for an active and independent life. Regularly performing weight-bearing and resistance exercises can help maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and makes them prone to fractures. Here are five exercises that are especially beneficial for bone health.

Strength training

Strength training is a powerful tool for maintaining bone density. It applies stress to the bone, stimulating it to strengthen and thicken. Examples of strength-training exercises include lifting weights and using resistance bands.

High-impact exercises

High-impact exercises, such as running, jumping jacks, and skipping, are effective in boosting bone density. These exercises involve both feet leaving the ground, placing a greater load on the bones and encouraging bone growth.

Low-impact weight-bearing exercises

For those who find high-impact exercises too challenging, low-impact weight-bearing exercises, like walking and stair climbing, are a good alternative. These exercises also put stress on the bones, helping them become denser.

Balance and flexibility exercises

While not directly influencing bone density, balance and flexibility exercises, such as yoga and Tai Chi, play a significant role in preventing falls and fractures, a common risk for people with osteoporosis.

Swimming and cycling

Swimming and cycling are non-weight bearing exercises, but they are excellent for overall health and cardiovascular fitness. Although they don't directly increase bone density, they can strengthen the muscles that support the bones, reducing the risk of falls and fractures.

Here's a table summarizing the five types of exercises and their benefits for bone health:

Exercise Type Benefits for Bone Health
Strength training Increases bone density
High-impact exercises Boosts bone growth
Low-impact weight-bearing exercises Helps bones become denser
Balance and flexibility exercises Prevents falls and fractures
Swimming and cycling Strengthens supportive muscles

Remember, before starting any new exercise regimen, it's important to consult a healthcare provider or fitness professional to ensure the exercises are safe and suitable for your individual needs.

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