Best Exercise For Strong Bones

Best Exercise For Strong Bones

The foundation of a good physical activity regimen involves at least 30 minutes (adults) or 60 minutes (children) of moderate physical activity every day.

Physical Activity for Children and Adolescents
For children over age 8 and adolescents, a bone-healthy program of physical activity could include the following:

  • At least 60 minutes of moderate intensity, continuous activity on most days, preferably daily. This level of activity can help achieve a healthy body weight and lower the risk of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes 
  • Inclusion of weight-bearing and short, intense impact activities such as basketball, gymnastics, and jumping as part of this regular activity program.
  • Performance of weight-bearing activities that increase muscle strength, such as running, hopping, or skipping. These best activities works for all muscle groups. Examples include gymnastics, basketball, volleyball, bicycling, and soccer. Swimming, while highly beneficial to many aspects of health, is not a weight-bearing activity and thus does not contribute to increased bone mass.

Weight-Bearing Exercise for Kids and Teens

Exercise helps build bone and weight-bearing exercise is particularly helpful in this task. Weight-bearing exercise includes any activity in which your feet and legs carry your own weight. Here are some examples of weight-bearing exercise that can help you build strong bones:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Jumping rope
  • Dancing
  • Climbing stairs
  • Jogging
  • Aerobic dancing
  • Hiking
  • Inline skating/ice skating
  • Racquet sports, such as tennis or racquetball
  • Team sports such as soccer, basketball, field hockey, volleyball, and softball or baseball

Physical Activity for Adults
Adults should strive to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days, preferably daily. As part of that regular physical activity program, the following can help enhance bone health:

  • For those individuals who can tolerate impact activities, a simple, 10-minute program of physical activity that incorporates 50 3-inch (8-centimeter) jumps per day.
  • A progressive program of weight training that uses all muscle groups, with the amount of weight lifted increased gradually over time.
  • A jogging or stair-climbing program for those who cannot tolerate higher impact physical activity.
  • Active recreational activities such as tennis, hiking, or basketball.

Physical Activity for Older Adults
Most elderly individuals should strongly consider engaging in regular physical activity. Physical activity is the only single therapy that can simultaneously improve muscle mass, muscle strength, balance, and bone strength. As a result, it may decrease the risk of fractures, in part by reducing the risk of falling. In fact, fall-risk reduction may be the biggest benefit of physical activity for the elderly.
The following guidelines should be used to maximize the potential fall prevention benefits of physical activity in the elderly:

  • Physical activity needs to be of sufficient intensity to improve muscle strength, since poor muscle strength is a known risk factor for falls. Strength or resistance training is best for building muscle, but even aerobic endurance activity can yield some improvements in muscle strength.
  • Improving balance can be an important component of any physical activity program designed to decrease falls. This program may include balance training exercises or a movement activity such as Tai Chi. Any activity that requires weight bearing and challenges the postural system can improve balance and potentially help reduce falls.
  • Physical activity must be performed on average 3 times per week for 30–45 minutes per session for at least three months for strength and balance benefits to be realized, and it must be continued if benefits are to be maintained.
  • Those who suffer a fall that requires a visit to a health care provider or an emergency room should ask for a fall risk assessment that includes a program of physical activity. Physical activity is most effective if delivered as a part of a comprehensive fall prevention program

Weight-Bearing/High Impact/Resistance Activities

  • Stair-climbing
  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • Jogging
  • Downhill and cross-country skiing
  • Aerobic dancing
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Gymnastics
  • Weight lifting or resistance training
  • Soccer
  • Jumping rope

  • Weight-Bearing/Low Impact Activities:

  • Walking
  • Treadmill walking
  • Cross-country ski machines
  • Stair-step machines
  • Rowing machines
  • Water aerobics
  • Deep-water walking
  • Low impact aerobics

  • Non-Weight-Bearing/Non-Impact Activities:

  • Lap swimming
  • Indoor cycling
  • Stretching or flexibility exercises (avoid forward-bending exercises)
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • References:

    1. Lifestyle Approaches to Promote Bone Health. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK45523/ Accessed on 30th April 2021

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