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Exercise for Bone Health

This might sound bonkers but our bones are living tissues!! WHAAAAAT???!

Your bones are living tissues that get stronger when you use them.

Bones stay strong if you give them work to do. Your bones respond by renewing themselves and maintaining or improving their strength.

They are constantly regenerating, by being broken down, absorbed into the body and rebuilt.

Cartoon image of a bone with cells chipping away while other cells rebuild

Unfortunately however, this rebuilding process changes as we age, as the rate of breakdown exceeds the rate of rebuilding. Thus resulting in weaker bones.

While this is a natural process, you're not powerless to do something about it.

Exercise is an amazing tool to promote healthy bones!

For exercise to be most effective at keeping bones strong, you need to combine:

👉 weight-bearing exercise with impact
👉 muscle strengthening exercise

Weight Bearing Exercise

You are weight bearing when you are standing, with the weight of your whole body pulling down on your skeleton.

Weight bearing exercise with impact involves being on your feet and adding an additional force or jolt through your skeleton.

Low Impact

  • Walking / Brisk walking
  • Stair climbing

Higher Impact

  • Jogging / Running
  • Skipping
  • Star jumps

Muscle Strengthening Exercise

As your muscles get stronger, they pull harder, meaning your bones are more likely to become stronger.

To strengthen your muscles, you need to move them against some resistance. Increasing muscle resistance can be done by adding a load for the muscles to work against.

Examples of resistance exercises include:

  • Using a weight in your hand
  • Using a resistance band
  • Using your body weight

Image of woman in front of class using resistance bands

So what?

Walk (if you don't like running & jumping)! It's easy & you'll reap other benefits including boosting your mental health.

Don't be afraid to start strength training. As a minimum, just use your own body weight.

Add progression by adding in hand weights and/or resistance bands.

If it's completely new to you and want some advice, don't hesitate to speak to a qualified fitness professional.

If you have any health concerns, always get the go ahead from your GP first.

Information courtesy of the Royal Osteoporosis Society. Read more here

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