Maintaining bone health is very important, since bone density gradually decreases with age. Bone health starts at a young age by developing healthy habits, such as being physically active. Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis due to their smaller bones and changes in the hormone estrogen. However, there are exercises women can do to improve bone health.
Being physically active helps promote bone health and reduce the risk of falling, by increasing balance and muscle strength. To promote bone health, it is important to accumulate at least 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity on most days each week. To prevent boredom, try different activities. For instance, go for a walk twice a week, jump rope once week, and play tennis twice a week.
Listed below are examples and types of exercises you can perform in order to strengthen your bones and to promote bone health.
- Weight-Bearing Exercises: Weight-bearing activities include walking, running, dancing, playing tennis, climbing the stairs, and jumping rope, among other similar activities. All of these involve placing a force on your muscles and bones, in order to make them stronger.
- Strength-Training Exercise/Resistance Exercises: These types of activities include weightlifting with free weights or doing bodyweight exercises such as lunges or pushups and performing resistance band exercises. There are also beneficial exercises that can be done while sitting in a chair. These types of exercises should be done two to three times per week, on non-consecutive days.
- Balance Exercises: Performing balance exercises can help to strengthen muscles and bones, while also decreasing the risk of falls. There are various types of balance exercises, including yoga and other simple exercises such as standing on one leg for 10-30 seconds and then switching to the other leg. Try closing your eyes during this balancing exercise for an added challenge.
The best exercises for maintaining bone health involve your body working against gravity. Two examples are hiking and climbing stairs. Consider starting a walking group with a couple of friends; this will make it more fun and allow you to socialize!
Did You Know?
While bone fractures are common in the United States, you can decrease your risk by being physically active!