Published on June 11, 2012

Exercise can help protect your bones at any age

Did you know that bone is living tissue?

man with weightsIt can get stronger with exercise and a healthy diet.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), exercising when you’re young helps build bone mass that can protect against bone weakness and fracture when you’re old. After age 40, regular bone-building activity can help prevent crippling osteoporosis (brittle bones) in later life—or decrease its severity. The muscle-building effects of exercise also can cushion and protect older bones in a fall or other accident.
Building better bones

The best way to exercise your bones is with weight-bearing activity. This includes movement that forces you to work against gravity, such as:

  • Walking
  • Climbing stairs
  • Dancing
  • Playing tennis
  • Weight training
  • Jogging

Weight-bearing exercises can be tailored to your strength and abilities.

If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, ask your doctor which activities are safe for you. You may need to avoid exercises that flex, bend or twist your spine, according to the NIH. You should also avoid high-impact exercise to lower your risk of bone fracture. A doctor or exercise specialist can help you work safely to build strength at any age.