Yoga uses an individual’s body as the weight and is widely popular for building bone strength in the hips and spine and improving flexibility in the joints. The many variations of yoga make the activity ideal for people of all ages and athletic ability.
2. Fast walking and hiking
Both involve the impact of the feet hitting the ground. The exercise can be intensified by going uphill, thus increasing the impact on the bone. More impact or effort generally translates to increased bone density and strength.
Dancing uses the entire body. The turning and twisting movements help maintain flexibility. The impact of moving from foot to foot or lifting the legs strengthens the hips and spine.
4. Strength training
Strength training can be done with resistance bands, free weights, or machines. Weightlifting improves bone health by placing stress on the muscles and bones. Calisthenics is used by many as a well-rounded form of exercise.
Why is bone health important?
Bones provide structure and support for the body. Bones also protect organs, anchor muscles, and store most of the body’s calcium and phosphorous. Bones are constantly changing. Old bone is broken down and new bone is made. The younger a person is, the quicker new bone is made. The bone mass of children and young adults is continuously increasing. Bone mass peaks around age 30. After 30 the bone will continue to cycle, but bone mass will begin to decrease. The higher the bone mass is at 30, the better the chances of fighting off osteoporosis.
What factors affect bone health?
Several factors contribute to bone health. Some key components include age, gender, weight, hormone levels, and family history. Tobacco, alcohol, and certain medications can contribute to weakened bones. Anorexia and bulimia often lead to bone loss. Crohn’s and celiac disease affect the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
Does exercise make bones stronger?
Exercise is one of the best things a person can do to encourage and maintain strong bones. Bone mass can be built up to about age 30. After 30, natural bone loss occurs but can be slowed with regular exercise. Resistance and weight-bearing exercises increase strength and durability. Placing weight on the bones encourages bone regeneration and production. Low-impact exercises that are not load-bearing may provide cardiovascular benefits but are not good for building bone strength.
Keep bones strong
Bones provide the structure for the human body. Young children and adults will have a much easier time building and maintaining bone mass. As adults age, bones begin to break down. One of the best things an adult can do for bone health is to exercise regularly. Weightlifting can come in the form of free weights, machines, or using the body as resistance. Exercise is essential for healthy bones. Speak with a healthcare provider to learn more about building stronger bones.