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Exercise Now for Strong Bones

Exercise is important at every age for healthy bones and for treating and preventing osteoporosis. Not only does exercise improve bone health, but it also increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance, and it leads to better overall health.

Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. For most people, bone mass peaks during their thirties. After that, many begin to lose bone. Women and men older than age 20 can help prevent bone loss with regular exercise.

Exercising allows us to maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which in turn helps to prevent falls and related fractures. This is especially important for older adults and people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

The best exercise for bones is the weight-bearing kind, forcing you to work against gravity. Some examples include:

·        weight training

·        walking

·        hiking

·        jogging

·        climbing stairs

·        tennis

·        dancing

 Although activities like swimming and bicycling help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits, they are not the best way to exercise your bones.

Keep in mind, exercise is only one part of an osteoporosis prevention or treatment program. Like a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise helps strengthen bones at any age. Unfortunately, proper exercise and diet may not be enough to stop bone loss caused by medical conditions, menopause, or lifestyle choices such as tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption.

It is important to speak with your doctor about your bone health. Discuss whether you might be a candidate for a bone mineral density test. If you are diagnosed with low bone mass, ask what medications might help keep your bones strong.

Talk with Dr. Strebel or Dr. Grolle at your next appointment about your bone health. They can guide you about how to start working now to have strong bones later.

Read more online at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00674