We’ve all heard about the many benefits of exercise. Regular exercise
can improve endurance, increase strength and help maintain a healthy weight
while preventing diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. However,
strong bones are also critical to our overall health:
“Bones are the framework of our body ,” says Hoag Orthopedic
Dr. Emilia Ravski. Bones play an essential role in storing body nutrients and making blood
cells, as well as protecting vital organs.”
Peak bone mass is achieved in our adolescent years and, as we age, it slowly
begins to deteriorate. This can lead to the development of osteoporosis.
As the most common disease of the bone, osteoporosis is characterized
by low bone mass and disruption of normal bone architecture.
Exercise is a key factor in developing and maintaining our bone mass over
time. Impact activity such as running and jumping is recommended by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to achieve maximum peak bone
mass in children. However, weight-bearing and resistance training are
necessary for preventing bone loss in adults. Try some of these workouts
to help maintain strong bones!
Pylometric Exercise – Jumping rope is a perfect base for adults looking to start pylometric
training. With explosive, high-impact movements, pylometrics have been
shown to be essential in improving bone mineral mass when performed regularly
for more than 10 months. Dr. Ravski recommends 30-60 minutes a day, three
or more times a week.
Tai Chi - If you’re looking for a weight-bearing exercise with less impact
than pylometrics, try Thai Chi! Accompanied by deep breathing, the slow
and focused movements involved in Tai Chi can help reduce stress, improve
anxiety and maintain strong bones.
Pilates – Pilates is growing in popularity, and it’s no surprise as
to why! Along with strengthening the core and improving flexibility and
posture, Pilates is a resistance training exercise proven to prevent bone loss.
Dancing – Although dancing is a great way to burn calories and get blood
flowing, it is also another great low-impact, weight-bearing exercise
for adults looking to maintain a healthy amount of bone mass. Whether
it’s a Zumba, Salsa, or contemporary dance class, grooving with
some good music can help adults fight osteoporosis.
Weight training – Even if building muscle is not a main focus, lifting weights can
help with bone stimulation. The movements involved in weight training
help maintain bone mass and prevent further bone loss as we age. So, the
next time youre at the gym, pick up some free weights or choose a machine!
If performed on a regular basis, any of the weight-bearing and resistance
training exercises above can prevent bone loss in adults. However, every
individual is different.
“The type and intensity of any exercise should be catered to each
person based on their age, fitness level and medical history,” says
As with any vigorous exercise program, a physician’s evaluation and
clearance is recommended before starting.
Dr. Ravski is a board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
with an expertise in pain management.