Osteoporosis and Exercise
Many people know that there is a link between exercise and osteoporosis, but did you know that the right kind of exercise makes a difference? Weight-bearing exercise offers the greatest benefit for your bones, and is an ideal way to help prevent and treat osteoporosis. Examples of this type of exercise include lifting weights and dancing.
Exercise carries many benefits, including increased muscle strength, coordination, and overall better health. There is also a special link between osteoporosis and exercise. Exercise is important for treating and preventing osteoporosis by improving bone health.
Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Young women and men who exercise regularly generally achieve greater peak bone mass -- maximum bone density and strength -- than those who do not exercise. As a general rule, bone mass peaks during the third decade of life. After that time, we can begin to lose bone. Women and men older than age 20 can help prevent bone loss with regular exercise. Exercise allows us to maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which in turn, help to prevent falls and related fractures. This is especially important for older adults and people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.
The best exercise for your bones is the weight-bearing kind. While there are many health benefits that come from bicycling or swimming, these exercises don't do anything for your bones.
Weight-bearing exercises force you to work against gravity. Examples may include lifting weights, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing.
Incorporating weight-bearing physical activity into an exercise plan is a great way to keep bones healthy and to meet physical activity recommendations set forth in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Adults should engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most (preferably all) days of the week. Children should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity on most (preferably all) days of the week.