Building Strong Bones as You Age

The trick to keeping bones STRONG and HEALTHY as you age is a mix between muscle strengthening and weight bearing exercises. Read on for tips from WebMD to keep you performing at your peak-level, CREATION Healthy lifestyle.

How does exercise help brittle bones?

Muscle strengthening AND weight bearing exercise work in combination to help fight Osteoporosis, or brittle bones. Osteoporosis is a preventable and treatable disease that thins and weakens your bones, making them more fragile and likely to break. This combination of exercise helps to reduce bone loss and build stronger muscles, meaning that you’re less likely to fall and fracture a bone.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Let’s begin by defining the term weight-bearing. This term simply means that your feet and legs are supporting you during an exercise. These exercises would include any activities you do while standing up. As you stand, the force of gravity puts stress on your bones, and they respond positively by building more cells. For optimal bone health, do weight bearing activities at least 4 days per week. Aim for 30 minutes if you are able, but note that you can divide the time up into chunks of 10 or 15 minutes if needed.

Muscle strengthening exercises are achieved through lighting weights or using resistance bands at the gym. These exercises will build bone and muscle mass at the same time. Aim to work each major muscle group twice a week with at least 1 day of rest in between.

What exercises combine both weight bearing and muscle strengthening components?

  • Dancing! This exercise keeps you on your feet, while simultaneously raising your pulse, strengthening your heart, bones, muscles, and balance. As an added bonus, you may also build your interpersonal relationships by dancing with a friend or loved one!
  • Tend to your Garden: Gardening is a great form of exercise as it involves carrying watering cans and flowers, picking weeds, bending, and squatting. Be sure to enjoy the warm sunshine and singing birds in the environment God has created for you.
  • Take a Brisk Walk: Shoot for three short walks or one long walk per day. If you are able, walk at a quick pace and your bones will reap the benefits.
  • Join an Aerobics Class: What better way to strengthen your bones and social bonds than with a group exercise class? Opt for a high-impact class if your bones are stable enough to handle the force. Low-impact or no impact (i.e. Water Aerobics) are great options for those with advanced osteoporosis or post fractured bones.
  • Take a Swim: Swimming is an excellent form of exercise that builds muscle and pushes your heart and lungs to the max. The only downside is that swimming will not strengthen your bones as the water is holding you up!

* This article is for informational purposes only. Please consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program. The exercises listed above are merely a guideline to follow, and should not be substituted for the advice of a licensed medical care provider. These activities may result in injury.

Zelman, D. (Ed.). (2015, August 24). Exercises to Help Brittle Bones and Boost Bone Health. Retrieved June 02, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/ss/slideshow-exercise-to-boost-bone-health?ecd=wnl_fit_052216