How exercise keeps our bones healthy

Carrying on from yesterday’s post discussing how our bone health can be maintained through vitamin D supplementation, today I’m going to look at another huge factor that can positively influence the health of our bones. Exercise positively impacts every system and tissue in our body, including our cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous and gastrointestinal tissues and systems. So, when it comes to reaping the benefits of exercise, our bones and skeletal system are no exception.

Like I mentioned yesterday, our bones are always being broken down and renewed. Old, weaker bone is broken down and newer, healthier bone is laid down in its place. When we participate in weight-bearing exercise, we stimulate the bone building process. This is because by stressing the bone with a load we are demanding that it is strong and dense. We are sending a signal to our bones saying, ‘I am going to put load through you, so you need to stay strong’ and our body’s will respond by laying down more healthy bone and increasing the overall density of the bone. It is then ready and able to cope the next time you load it.

Osteoporosis is a disease where bones become less dense and as a result are more fragile, weak and brittle. Participating regularly in weight bearing exercise is critical to preventing the development of osteoporosis. The great thing is, evidence shows that weight bearing exercise can help to build and maintain bone density at any age. So, it is never too late to get started!

Weight bearing exercise can be achieved by using your own body weight against gravity or better yet, you can add external weight to your body. Here are the best bone building exercises:

Weight training

Plyometrics – which includes explosive jumping, hopping, lunging and squatting

Body weight exercises– including push ups, tricep dips and air squats.

Climbing Stairs

Skipping

Running

Hiking

Backpacking

The bone building process stimulated by exercise tends to be site-specific, generating new bone tissue only in those areas directly affected by the exercise. That’s why it’s important that you try a variety of weight-bearing exercises that will work bones in different parts of the body.

How wonderful to think that when we’re exercising we’re strengthening our bones 💪🏻 what are your favourite weight bearing exercises?

Paula xo

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