Exercise for Strong Bones
There are two types of exercises that are important for building and maintaining bone density: weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises.
These exercises include activities that make you move against gravity while staying upright. Weight-bearing exercises can be high-impact or low-impact.
High-impact weight-bearing exercises help build bones and keep them strong. If you have broken a bone due to osteoporosis or are at risk of breaking a bone, you may need to avoid high-impact exercises. If you’re not sure, you should check with your healthcare provider.
Low-impact weight-bearing exercises can also help keep bones strong and are a safe alternative if you cannot do high-impact exercises.
These exercises include activities where you move your body, a weight or some other resistance against gravity. They are also known as resistance exercises and include:
- Lifting weights
- Using elastic exercise bands
- Using weight machines
- Lifting your own body weight
Non-impact exercises can help you to improve balance, posture and how well you move in everyday activities. These exercises can also help to increase muscle strength and decrease the risk of falls and broken bones. Some of these exercises include:
- Balance exercises that strengthen your legs and test your balance, such as Tai Chi, can decrease your risk of falls.
- Posture exercises that improve your posture and reduce rounded or “sloping” shoulders can help you decrease the chance of breaking a bone, especially in the spine.
- Functional exercises that improve how well you move can help you with everyday activities and decrease your chance of falling and breaking a bone. For example, if you have trouble getting up from a chair or climbing stairs, you should do these activities as exercises.