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Weight-Bearing Exercises to Maintain Healthy Bones

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Weight-bearing exercises, started in your youth and continued throughout your life, can help prevent osteoporosis. These exercises, such as walking, jogging, climbing, dancing, or lifting weights, help you build strong bones as a young person. And they help you maintain your bone thickness (density) as an adult. But if you stop exercising, your bones will begin to thin.

Starting these exercises at any age will help prevent bone loss. It is best to do weight-bearing exercise for at least 2½ hours a week. One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. In addition to weight-bearing exercise, experts recommend that you do resistance exercises at least 2 days a week.

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Weight loss and bone loss can sometimes go hand in hand. Doctors know that women with anorexia, who severely restrict calories for a long time, are at increased risk for osteoporosis. The eating disorder interferes with hormones needed to maintain bone, not to mention the foods people need to build bone. But what if you don’t have anorexia? What’s the relationship between osteoporosis and normal dieting? How do you know if you’re at risk for bone loss? What kind of dieting is safe for your...

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Exercises that are not weight-bearing, such as swimming, are good for your general health. But they do not work your muscles and bones against gravity and so they do not stimulate new bone growth.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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