What is Weight-Bearing Exercise and Why Do We Need it?

After writing about osteoporosis last month and how men are vulnerable to it to a lesser extent than women, I have been trying to integrate more weight-bearing exercise into my day.

As you may remember, the three keys to osteoporosis prevention are Vitamin D, Calcium and weight-bearing exercise.

Here are some more good weight-bearing exercises from WebMD.

1 Tai Chi
We wrote Tai Chi up last year. This slow, graceful movement builds both coordination and strong bones.

2 Yoga
A study in Yoga Journal found that bone mineral density in the spine of women who did yoga regularly increased.

3 Brisk walking
This is a popular way to revamp your bone health. A study of nurses found that walking four hours a week gave them a 41% lower risk of hip fractures, compared to walking less than one hour a week. “Brisk walking is best, but you can adapt your speed to your current fitness level,” WebMD said.

4 Golf
It’s not just for retirees, or folks who can’t do real sports. Shouldering the bag and walking the course counts for a lot, too.

5 Dancing
“Use those hips to get your heart pumping in more ways than one, and build stong bones,while you’re at it,” according to WebMD.

6 Hiking
The benefits of hiking increase over simply walking when there are uphills to climb. The surgeon general says that more impact on your feet and legs translates into more bone density.

7 Racquet Sports
These are good for your racquet arm, wrist and shoulder every time you hit the all and working your hips and spine with all that running.

8 Strength Training (Last, but not Least)
Lifting weights, using the weight machines, doing calisthenics, are forms of strength or resistance training. The surgeon general says strength training at least twice a week will stimulate bone growth.

WebMD offers the following final tip: “Be patient. The bone-building phase in young adults — at its speediest — takes three to four months, and it may take a lot longer if you have osteoporosis or are older. So you won’t be seeing big changes on any bone density tests after your first week of working out. Bones change slowly — but they do change.”


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Filed under Exercise, osteoporosis, weight-bearing exercise

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