Everybody knows that having healthy bones is one of the keys to living a long and healthy life. To that end, health experts and dieticians put a ton of stress on eating foods that are packed with Vitamin D and calcium. However, while a healthy diet is one of the keys to having healthy bones, exercise also plays an important role in bone health.
When most people think of exercise, they think of strengthening their muscles and increasing muscle mass. However, while it’s true that exercise is essential for having big, strong muscles, it’s also important for bone health. As with muscles, bones are living, growing parts of the body. As such, it’s possible to strengthen them with certain exercises and workouts.
If you want to know more about how and why exercise is essential for proper bone health, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll discuss how your bones are impacted by certain exercises, as well as workouts to avoid if you want healthy bones. Finally, this article will also look at how to combine exercise with a healthy diet to have the healthiest bones possible.
Why Exercise Helps Your Bones
Exercise has a number of direct and indirect benefits for bone health. In other words, certain exercises will have a direct impact on your bones, while other exercises will increase bone health in indirect ways. The reason that exercise is beneficial for bone health is that your bone consists of living, growing tissue. Therefore, it’s possible to make your bones stronger, as well as speed up the recovery process if you injure a bone.
Here are some of the main reasons that exercise is important for bone health.
Increased Bone Strength
The first and most obvious way that exercise helps your bones is by making them stronger. It does this by helping you reach peak bone mass, which is the maximum size and strength that your bones can be. Without exercise, you’ll have a hard time reaching peak bone mass, which will put you at risk for bone density loss and related conditions as you get older.
Inactivity is Bad For Bones
The second reason that exercise is beneficial for bones is that it helps prevent bone loss. Inactivity and a stagnant lifestyle lead to weak, brittle bones, which leads to additional health complications. By exercising, you can help prevent bone loss and the health complications that usually accompany it.
Strengthens the Areas Around Your Bones
An indirect way that exercise helps your bones is by strengthening the muscles, ligaments, and tissue surrounding your bones. By having stronger muscles and other tissue, you won’t put as much strain on your bones.
Reduces the Risk of a Bone Injury
Finally, when you have healthy bones, muscles, and ligaments, you’re far less likely to injure yourself. Increased bone mass and strength will help you have better balance and recovery, which makes you less of a fall risk as you get older. Falls are one of the leading causes of broken bones in older adults, and they often result from poor balance and weakness.
Best Exercises for Developing Strong Bones
While it’s true that certain exercises will help strengthen your bones, it’s important to choose the right ones. Over-exercising or doing the wrong things isn’t just ineffective; it can also be detrimental to bone health. Here are some of the best exercises to do daily if you want to develop strong, healthy bones.
Weight Bearing Exercises
A weight-bearing exercise is any type of workout that you perform on your feet using your body weight. These exercises use only your body weight and don’t include free weights or resistance.
- Jumping rope
- Sports that include pivoting, running, and jumping
Strength Training Exercises
Strength training exercises are where you incorporate weights and resistance into your workout. Here are some of the best strength training exercises for bone health.
- Other arm and leg exercises
Low Resistance and Balance Exercises
Some people can’t handle the stress of weight-bearing and strength-training exercises. If you fall into this category, here are some of the best alternative exercises for bone health.
- Tai Chi
- Chair exercises
Exercises to Avoid if You Want Healthy Bones
In the same way that certain exercises are good for bone health, there are also some that are detrimental. Exercises that you should avoid if you want healthy bones to vary depending on your age and health status. In general, however, high-impact exercises that include running and jumping are good workouts to avoid if you have low bone density.
Because of the health risks involved with certain exercises, you should consult a health professional before performing exercises that could be detrimental to your bones.
Start Taking Bone Health Seriously Today
There are many ways to improve the health of your bones, but combining exercise with a healthy diet packed with Vitamin D and calcium is the best way. However, while exercise can be extremely beneficial for bone health, doing the wrong exercises can do more harm than good. For that reason, you should consult a physical therapist, medical doctor, or another qualified health professional before doing exercises that could be detrimental to your bone health.
Osteoporosis and exercise – Better Health Channel
Exercise and Bone Health – OrthoInfo – AAOS
Exercise for Your Bone Health | NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center
Benefits of Exercise on Your Bone Health (newportortho.com)
Exercising with osteoporosis: Stay active the safe way – Mayo Clinic