When it comes to bone health, many people immediately think of vitamin D and calcium. While these two nutrients are important for strong bones, exercise—especially weight-bearing and resistance-training exercise—is just as essential.*
Weight-bearing exercises require the bones to support your body’s weight, which bolsters bone growth, bone density and bone strength. Interestingly, these types of exercises can also increase your calcium absorption and stimulate osteoblasts—the cells that contribute to normal bone remineralization. Common weight-bearing exercises include walking, hiking, dancing, climbing stairs, and elliptical training.
Resistance training exercises are forms of strength training for developing the size and strength of your musculoskeletal system. Regular resistance training can strengthen and tone muscles, while increasing bone mass. Resistance training can also slow down your bone mineral loss and maintain bone density. Weights, water exercises, resistance bands and medicine balls all fit into this category.
Let’s take a closer look at a few of these key exercises:
• Dancing. You may not perform this weight-bearing exercise “with the stars,” but it sure is one fun way to keep your bones strong and healthy. Whether it’s aerobic dancing, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), swing, salsa or Jazzercise—there’s sure to be a bone-strengthening dance that’s right for you.
• Resistance bands. They’re compact, inexpensive, portable and can add variety to your resistance training exercises. By their very nature, resistance bands create tension for specific muscle groups throughout your workout, resulting in strength for your muscles and your bones. There’s no resisting what these bands have to offer for bone health.
• Hiking. Here’s an ideal way to take in the great outdoors and support bone health. Hiking, another weight-bearing exercise, is a fundamental outdoor activity that usually involves a fair amount of walking over a variety of terrains. It’s walking at its finest, so go take a hike—today!
* Regular exercise and a healthy diet with enough calcium and Vitamin D helps maintain good bone health and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.