Five best exercises for your bones

Exercise is good for more than just your heart, lungs and muscles. Physical activity is one of the best ways to keep your bones healthy, whether you’re young or old.

1. Weightlifting

Weight training is excellent because it trains or works out non-weight-bearing bones of the arms and hands, says Teeter. Weight training with low weight and lots of repetitions can increase bone density up to 22 per cent in postmenopausal women, who are at increased risk of osteoporosis, and up to 29 per cent in people osteopenia. Other studies have shown exercise slows bone loss rather than increases bone density.

2. Yoga

During yoga, you support yourself with your arms or your legs. Increased flexibility and improved balance are two benefits of yoga, and both can help prevent falls and bone breaks, especially in older people. Hip fractures in the elderly are common. They lose balance, trip and fall on their hip, breaking it. Wrist fractures, from people trying to catch themselves when they fall, are also common, she says. Fractures are more than just painful as you get older; they can be deadly.

3. Walking and jogging

Walking and jogging will strengthen your leg bones since they’re supporting your bodyweight. As you jog, the added force of your feet against the ground will further stress your bones and make them stronger. Make sure to cool down and stretch appropriately after your run, and don’t overdo it to avoid overuse injuries. If you don’t want to give up jogging then be careful on the treadmill, especially if you’re older or have poor balance.

4. Dancing

Cutting a rug is a high-impact exercise that’s good for more than just your bones. In the realm of bone health, dancing is a little more high-impact than walking and a little less than jogging, and that’s a high zone. Those furious feet smacking against the floor creates forces that will strengthen the bones in your legs.

5. Tennis

Running around the tennis court and leaping to return a crafty serve are high-impact ways to add strength to the bones in your legs, but many people may not realize swinging the racket is a workout, too. The weight of the noise is a form of resistance that will strengthen your arm bones, and the jolt of the tennis ball against the racket adds further stress.

 

No matter what exercise you choose to do to bolster your bones, consistency and variety are key.

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