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Exercise for Your Bones

women working out

There are many benefits of physical activity. When you exercise, you’re causing new bone tissue to form, which makes your bones stronger. Exercise not only strengthens your bones, but also increases your muscle strength, balance, coordination, and improves your overall health.

Physical Activities for Better Bone Health

Weight-bearing physical activities cause new bone tissue to form, and this strengthens your bones. When you exercise regularly, your bone changes by building cells and growing denser.

Not all exercise or activities directly help you to build bone tissue. For example, swimming is not a weight-bearing activity, although it does help to make your muscles stronger. Weight-bearing activities that help make your bones stronger include:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Hiking
  • Climbing stairs
  • Playing paddle sports
  • Jumping rope
  • Dancing
  • Playing basketball or soccer
  • Weight lifting

Exercise Routine for Bone Health

A productive and beneficial fitness program for bone health consists of:

  • 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity (continuous or in short intervals), sessions occur 4 or more days weekly
  • If you can't do 30 minutes at once, break up the session. For example, walk for 10 minutes three times a day.
  • Workout each major muscle group at least twice weekly.
  • Rest for an entire 24 hours between exercise sessions.

Benefits of an Exercise Routine

People of any age can benefit from following a regular fitness program:

Teens and Young Adults: The best time to build bone density is when you are young, and your bones are rapidly growing. About 90% of our peak bone mass is achieved by the age of 18.

Weight-bearing exercise as a teenager is key to reaching maximum bone strength. For a minimum of 3 to 4 days a week, teens and young people should engage in weight-bearing activities for 20 to 30 minutes.

Pre-menopausal Women: Pre-menopausal women typically have enough of the hormone called estrogen to help protect their bones. Estrogen inhibits the mechanisms that can break down bone. Regular weight-bearing exercises done at this stage of life can help maintain bone strength and minimize bone loss.

Menopausal Women: Menopausal women experience drops in their estrogen levels. It's more difficult than to maintain bone mass because the rate of bone removal is usually higher than bone formation. The resulting bone weaknesses and lower bone mass can lead to a condition called osteoporosis, which makes the bones more susceptible to fracture. Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease that affects both women and men.

Men: Men lose muscle as they age, making bones more open to injuries. Weight-bearing exercise helps protect men against falls and bone loss.

Older Adults: Older people are at a higher risk for falls, and the consequences could be serious and may even lead to permanent disability. While older people can’t increase bone mass, weight-bearing activities can help slow down bone loss and maintain muscle strength, which can help to decrease the risk of falling.

For more information on your bone health, make an appointment today at Specialty Orthopedics of Harrison, NY. Our team can help you in all areas of bone health. Our doctors offer comprehensive treatment plans for musculoskeletal issues.

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