When we’re young, the only time we ever think about our bones is when we break them. But as we get older, and the risks of serious fractures and falls come into the picture, we need to make our bone health a top priority. Our bones are living organisms, that naturally break down and rebuild themselves, but when the bones cannot rebuild as fast as they break down, we develop a disease called osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men over the age of 50. The disease can lead to painful fractures and dangerous falls. And yet, osteoporosis is largely preventable – through the right types of bone strengthening exercises. In fact, it’s been shown that improving muscular strength and endurance can actually slow bone density loss and reduce osteoporosis in both men and women.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best bone strengthening exercises to prevent osteoporosis:
Cardiovascular conditioning, especially when performed on your feet, is perfect for strengthening your bones and building density. In this type of exercise, you are using gravity to exert a force on your bones while remaining upright. When you perform a weight-bearing exercise, your muscles and tendons are forced to pull on the bones, which then stimulates your bone cells to grow and develop faster. Typical weight-bearing exercises are:
- High-Impact Aerobics
- Jumping Rope
- Climbing Stairs
Although these exercises do a great job building bone strength and density, they come with two major drawbacks: they tend to be very high impact, which could be painful for some people, and they tend to only work the lower half of the body.
Resistance (or strength) training is another great way to prevent osteoporosis. This type of exercise involves lifting free weights or using resistance bands and weight machines to build muscle, which then leads to bone growth. It’s important to note that unlike weight training to tone muscles, which typically focuses on low weights/high rep exercises, resistance strength training utilizes high weights with fewer reps, to target specific areas of your body that are prone to fracture.
Isometrics are completely static exercises – meaning the muscles contract without actually moving. This is extremely beneficial to those suffering from joint pain and are looking for a more low-impact way to exercise. And like weight-bearing and resistance training, isometrics are also a great way to build bone strength and density.
Another important advantage of isometric workouts is that they can be done in quick, five-minute exercises, using the Activ5 smart isometric device. The Activ5 gives you over a hundred different full-body isometric exercises, while tracking your strength, progress, heart rate and more. Combined with the Activ5 Training App for Android or iOS, it’s the best way to get in an isometric workout – anytime, anywhere.
With a proper combination of weight-bearing, resistance, and isometric exercises, you can ensure that your bones remain as strong and dense as possible – which will not only help you prevent osteoporosis, but will help you live your best, most comfortable life.