Build Bone Density with These 4 Exercises
Getting older comes with advantages and drawbacks. One of the downsides is the loss of bone density that comes naturally with age. To build bone density, you must commit to a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Exercise is one of the most effective natural ways to build bone density in older adults. Regular exercise stimulates the growth of new bone tissue and increases bone density. You can reduce your risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions with the right exercises.
In this article, we share the 4 most effective exercises for naturally building bone density, and how to work them into your workout routine.
1 – High-Impact Aerobics to Build Bone Density
High-impact aerobics (like jogging and jumping) build bone density by putting stress on your bones. Over time, it makes your bones stronger, thicker, and more durable. An added bonus: it builds lean muscle and trims fat.
Not everyone can safely jump and run. If you have a pre-existing condition that makes either of these activities risky to your overall health and well-being, you can try alternatives that give similar results. They include:
- Brisk walking. If jogging is too difficult because of painful joints, brisk walking is a good substitute that delivers similar results for building bone density. You must walk briskly for 30 minutes consecutively at least 3 or more times per week to enjoy the benefits.
- Dancing. Grooving to your favorite music is one of the safest high-impact aerobic exercises you can engage in. To do it safely, choose a soft surface and play music that makes it difficult not to get up and dance. Dance like nobody’s watching.
- Stair climbing. It doesn’t matter how fast you climb stairs to get the bone-building benefits of this aerobic exercise. The reason it works so well is it forces your body into a pattern of motion that resists gravity while rising vertically. For the best results, choose a long, wide staircase to climb and push off each step with your heels to reduce stress on your knees.
2 – Resistance Training to Build Bone Density
Lifting weights or using resistance bands is another effective way to put the kind of stress on your bones that builds bone density. Some of the most effective resistance training exercises with weights or bands include lunges and squats for the lower body, and push-ups and pull-ups for the upper body.
If you’re new to resistance training, working with a personal trainer can ensure you’re doing the moves correctly to maximize the benefits to your bones.
Lifting weights to build bone density is sure to cause some sore muscles the next day. Don’t let that stop you from continuing with your routine. Use an all-natural pain-relieving spray or roll-on to ease your discomfort.
3 – Plyometrics to Build Bone Density
Have you ever wondered why that guy at the gym is jumping up and down off a giant box? He’s likely doing plyometric exercises designed to maximize calorie burn and build bone density by putting stress on his bones.
The “explosive” movements behind plyometrics make it incredibly effective at encouraging new bone growth by stretching and contracting your muscles quickly. When performed correctly, plyometric exercises are safe and efficient for older adults.
If you’re new to this kind of exercise, it’s best to work with a trainer until you get the hang of it. If you’re sore from this method to build bone density, don’t forget to reach for your favorite all-natural pain relief spray or roll-on.
4 – Yoga to Build Bone Density
Yoga is one of those exercises that works for different age groups to achieve more than one health outcome. It’s popular for maintaining flexibility at any age and is a common recommendation for promoting natural stress relief.
Did you know that yoga is also an excellent way to build bone density? Some poses are more beneficial than others for this purpose. Here are some of the yoga poses that require your bones to support the weight of your body.
- Chair Pose (Utkatasana). Squat down as if you’re sitting on an imaginary chair. Keep your arms extended outwarded at a 90-degree angle from your body or place them above your head to make the pose more challenging.
- Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). This pose requires you to get into an inverted V-shape by stretching your arms and legs downward. It strengthens the bones in your arms and shoulders.
- Plank Pose (Phalakasana). Hold your body in a straight line with your arms extended and your hands and toes touching the ground. Doing this regularly strengthens the bones in your arms, spine, and wrists.
- Triangle Pose (Trikonasana). Stand with your legs apart and bend at one side while keeping your arms extended. Doing this pose strengthens the bones in your hips, legs, and spine.
- Warrior II Virabhadrasana II). Stand on one leg while keeping your other leg bent at the knee and holding your arms outstretched. Getting into this posture strengthens the bones in your hips, knees, and spine.
Build Bone Density to Enjoy the Golden Years
It’s never a bad idea to focus on building strong bones at any age. The earlier you start following an exercise and diet plan that supports your goal to build bone density, the better.
Try out these 4 exercises proven to support healthy bone growth as part of your regimen. Have other exercises you’d recommend? Please share them with our readers in the comments section.
About the Author: Shari Berg is a researcher, frequent blogger, feature writer, and author of Wars End with Me.
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- The volume of brisk walking is the key determinant of BMD improvement in premenopausal women. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed April 12, 2023.
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