Fitness Articles

Exercising to Build Strong Bones

Use the LIVE Approach


As with any workout program, exercising for bone-building requires lots of variety. Most exercises only work one particular muscle group in one particular way. For bone-building results, try to involve as many muscles, angles and patterns of movement as possible. You don’t have to do this in every exercise session, but you should rotate to a new set of exercises every couple of weeks.

Finally, there are lots of bone-building activities you can include in your daily routine, even though they aren’t formal exercises. Gardening is one good example. Another is making a point of getting up out of your chair without using your hands or arms for assistance. If you can’t do this now, start practicing every day by first sitting on an extra cushion or a phone book, and practicing until you reduce the amount of weight you have to support with your hands. Then remove the cushion, and do the same until you don’t need to use your hands at all. Research shows that people who can get out of a chair without using their hands have a much lower incidence of balance problems and falls, which can be very serious for older people with osteoporosis.

Although osteoporosis is often considered an age-related problem, the foundation for this problem is often set much earlier. Research shows that a person's bone density at the ages of 25-35 plays a large role in determining whether her natural decline in bone density will cause problems associated with osteoporosis and osteopenia. So, don’t wait until you’ve already got problems before you start trying to manage them. What are you waiting for? With your doctor's advice, a bone-building diet, and these exercise suggestions, you're armed and ready to strengthen those bones. So turn off your computer and get out of your chair—without using your hands.

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About The Author

Dean Anderson Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.

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