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Weight-Bearing Exercise Is a Must for Healthy Bones

Adding weight-bearing exercises to your workout regimen is important for building strong bones and keeping them healthy. Weight-bearing exercises work because they make your body weight move against gravity while staying upright. This in turn stimulates your bone-producing cells, which can increase bone density. Weight-bearing exercises also support the muscle strength, coordination, and balance that may help to prevent falls and fractures.

Make your weight-bearing exercises fun. Choose something you like to do.

  1. Jumping rope. This old-school recess favorite and effective cardio exercise helps strengthen your bones and improves balance. It’s also an inexpensive and great way to exercise anywhere. For a challenge, try passing the rope under your feet twice for every jump.
  2. Weights. Using weights is a form of strength or resistance training. Strength training at least twice a week helps stimulate bone growth. Try doing weights while watching TV or a movie.
  3. Brisk walking. Walking is a great way to revamp your bone health. Brisk walking is best, but you can adapt your speed to your current fitness level. Do it anywhere, anytime, even when you're traveling.
  4. Hiking. Go uphill and downhill for more impact on those bones and improve your bone health even more. Make hiking more fun. Get a buddy or join a club.
  5. Running or jogging. Running helps strengthen the weight-bearing bones of the legs, pelvis, and spine. Make the most of a cool part of the day. Run with your dog.
  6. Dancing. Use those hips to get your heart pumping in more ways than one and build strong bones while you're at it. Dancing can be a great whole-body workout while socializing.

If you have health problems—such as heart trouble, high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity—or if you are age 40 or older, check with your doctor before beginning a regular exercise program.

Reprinted with changes from, by permission of publisher.

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