Exercise for Your Bone Health
by Meghan Griech, PT, DPT, cert MDT, CKTP
This article takes 6 minutes to read
Don’t have time to read this? Listen to the podcast episode instead:
Welcome to The How to Move without Pain Podcast – Coming Soon
Subscribe to the How to Move Without Pain Podcast and never miss a bonus episode!
When it comes to maintaining good health, many people focus on eating a balanced diet and avoiding harmful habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. However, one important factor that is often overlooked is physical activity. Exercise not only improves cardiovascular health, but it also plays a critical role in maintaining bone health. In this blog post, we will explore how promoting bone health begins with being more active.
Why Bone Health is Important
Bone health is important for several reasons. Bones provide the framework for the body and allow us to move, support our organs, and protect our internal organs. Additionally, bones store minerals such as calcium, which are essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Weak bones can lead to fractures, which can be painful and limit mobility, and can also increase the risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become brittle and prone to fractures.
How Exercise Improves Bone Health
Exercise has been shown to improve bone health in several ways. First, it increases bone density, which is the amount of minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, that are present in bone tissue. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, running, and weightlifting, is particularly effective at increasing bone density. When bones are subjected to the stress of weight-bearing exercise, they respond by laying down more bone tissue, which increases bone density and strength.
Additionally, exercise can improve balance and coordination, which can help prevent falls and reduce the risk of fractures. Finally, exercise can stimulate the production of hormones that are important for bone health, such as estrogen, testosterone, and growth hormone.
Types of Exercise for Bone Health
Weight-bearing exercise is particularly effective at improving bone health, but there are several other types of exercise that can be beneficial as well. Resistance training, such as weightlifting, is also effective at increasing bone density. Non-weight-bearing exercise, such as swimming and cycling, can improve cardiovascular health but are not as effective at improving bone health.
Additionally, activities that involve jumping and other high-impact movements, such as basketball and volleyball, can also be effective at improving bone density. However, these activities may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with joint problems or injuries.
How Much Exercise is Needed for Bone Health
The amount of exercise needed for optimal bone health varies depending on several factors, including age, gender, and overall health. In general, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week. Additionally, adults should engage in strength-training exercises at least two days per week.
For older adults, exercise can be particularly beneficial for maintaining bone health. Older adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with strength-training exercises at least two days per week.
Promoting bone health is an important aspect of overall health and well-being. Physical activity, particularly weight-bearing exercise, is an effective way to improve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. In addition to weight-bearing exercise, resistance training and high-impact activities can also be effective at improving bone health. By making physical activity a regular part of our lives, we can promote bone health and enjoy the benefits of strong, healthy bones throughout our lives.
*Disclaimer: All information in this article is intended for instruction and informational purposes. The author(s) are not responsible for any harm or injury that may result. This information is used to supplement not replace any advice you were provided from your doctor or another medical health professional. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied with this article.