Published on March 25, 2013

Exercise for strong bones

Walking for bone health.

Walking is the best weight-bearing exercise for people who have or are at risk of osteoporosis.

couple walkingAll you need to start a walking program is a pair of supportive shoes that will absorb shock as you walk. If you use a walker or cane, be sure it is sized appropriately to fit your body so you aren’t bending over when you walk.

The Bone Health Program at Mercy Philadelphia uses exercises and educational tips based on scientific findings, says Physical Therapist Kelly Duszak. The goal is to help people enjoy the maximum quality of life.

Follow these helpful tips while exercising:

  • Stand tall. Remember to evenly distribute your weight between the heels and balls of your feet and avoid leaning forward or backward or to one side.
  • Maintain comfortable and even breathing. If you feel short of breath, slow down.
  • Set goals and keep a regular schedule. Strive to walk at least four times a week. If you can walk for only five minutes, start there and gradually build time.
  • Pay attention to pain. If it does not go away, increases with activity or requires medication, you may have an injury or even a stress fracture. Get checked by your physician.