How to strengthen your bones & prevent osteoporosis
WEIGHT-BEARING and resistance exercises are the answer to stronger bones.
Osteoporosis Australia exercise specialists claim hopping and jumping, and progressive resistance training such as lifting weights in the gym, are the most effective exercises for improving and preserving bone strength throughout life.
Other exercises that involve the feet making impact with the ground, such as running and jumping, tennis and dancing, are also good for bones.
Osteoporosis Australia's Professor Belinda Beck recommended regular exercise that raised the heart rate was it was important for reducing the risk of common lifestyle diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
"But we know that aerobic exercise on its own makes little or no difference to bones," Prof Beck said.
"Bones need to be stressed in very specific ways in order to get stronger."
To get successfully active, you should:
- Exercise for about 30 minutes, at least three times a week.
- Increase the intensity of exercises gradually. The amount of weight used, degree of exercise difficulty, height of jumps, and so on, must increase or vary over time to challenge the bones and muscles.
- Routines should be varied rather than purely repetitive.
- Exercises should be performed in short, intensive bursts.
- Regular short bouts of weight-bearing exercise separated by several hours are better than a single long session.
- Lifting weights quickly is more effective for improving muscle function than lifting them slowly.
- Rapid, short bursts of movement, such as jumping or skipping, are more effective than slow movements.
It is also recommend that you consult a qualified exercise professional before embarking on an exercise program. This is particularly important for those people who have osteoporosis or have already suffered a fracture.