Better Bones via Weight-bearing Exercise
by Jason Klein, November 8, 2016
Bones are similar to muscles in that they become stronger with use. While any exercise can help build strong bones and decrease the chances for osteoporosis or other bone disorders, weight-bearing exercises are ideal because they challenge the body to resist the force of gravity. Weight-bearing exercises done on your two feet places pressure on the bones, which stimulates them to increase bone density. Weight-bearing exercises include:

  • walking, jogging and running
  • hiking
  • racket sports
  • jumping rope
  • dancing
  • climbing stairs
  • lifting weights
  • soccer
Given the availability of so many weight-bearing exercises, you should grow into a program and try not to do too much too soon. We can help you create an appropriate program based on your age and physical condition. If exercise is carried to extreme excess, pre-menopausal women can actually develop menstrual cycle changes including cessation (termed amenorrhea). Other symptoms of excessive exercise may include fatigue, minor stress bone reactions (these can become stress fractures) and unusually low body weight. All of these conditions can actually have the opposite of the desired effect on the body, resulting in decreased bone density. Beginning a weight-bearing exercise program is most beneficial in the teenage years, but it can reduce bone loss at any age. Even if you have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, weight-bearing exercises can slow its progress tremendously.

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Building bone mass is crucial for combating bone disorders. By the time a woman is 30 years old, she has reached maximum bone density. Women generally have less bone mass than men when both genders reach their bone density peak. Women also lose bone mass at a very rapid rate after menopause because estrogen levels drop; this hormone contributes to bone strength.

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115 EAST 57TH ST, SUITE 605   •   NEW YORK, NY 10022   •   (212) 838 - 8023   •