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How do I Choose the Best Bone Density Exercise?

Article Details
  • Written By: K. Testa
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 01 May 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Choosing the best bone density exercise can depend on several factors, such as your age and whether you have already experienced a loss of bone density. For instance, young people can usually engage in more demanding forms of exercise, most of which help build bone strength. Older adults, on the other hand, typically need to focus on maintaining their bone strength or deal with bone density loss. There are several types of exercises that can be done to increase or maintain bone density. Aerobic exercise is one type and includes activities like running, walking, and dancing. Resistance training and weightlifting can also be beneficial, as can bone density exercise that encourages flexibility and balance.

Most medical experts claim that people can build up their bone strength until approximately age 30, when bone density levels generally peak. After that point, most people are advised try to maintain their bone strength. Certain factors, however, can lead to a loss of bone density. Causes can range from side effects of prescription medications to lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking.

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It is usually possible to increase bone density with weight-bearing exercise when you are young and your bones are still developing. Continuing to exercise throughout your life can help maintain that strength and avoid the bone loss that eventually results in osteopenia or osteoporosis. Even people in their later years can reverse some of the effects of diminished bone strength. Most doctors state that one can begin weight-bearing bone density exercise at any age, and they usually recommend working out for about 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Aerobic exercise can include walking, dancing, and outdoor activities like gardening. Several health experts have noted that, while swimming is a good cardiovascular workout, it does not necessarily increase or maintain bone density. Strength training with weights or machines, however, is usually considered beneficial bone density exercise.

Exercise that increases flexibility is also encouraged. Some stretching exercises that help to move the joints can include movements that are typically performed after an aerobic workout or when muscles are otherwise warmed up. Balance and stability exercises do not affect bone density directly, but can help reduce the likelihood of falling, which is a serious concern for people with low bone density.

Individuals with osteoporosis typically have fragile bones, so they should choose bone density exercise carefully to avoid the possibility of an injury, such as a bone fracture. Examples of activities that people with osteoporosis might want to avoid include high-impact exercises, like running and jumping. Additionally, exercises that put pressure on your spine should also be avoided. Some examples include twisting activities, like abdominal crunches, yoga, and golf.

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