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How to Strengthen Bones With Exercise continued...

Develop a whole body routine. "Strength-building exercises benefit the specific muscles and bones being exercised," says Ricci. "So it’s important to develop a routine that involves all the major muscle groups. Each muscle group should be exercised at least once a week."

Start slowly. Strength-building exercises may sound daunting, especially if you haven't exercised before. "It's wise to start an exercise with no weight or very little weight and then slowly add heavier weights," says Ricci. In programs she develops for older clients, she divides muscle groups into three groups: legs and shoulders, back and biceps, and chest and triceps. She recommends at least 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercises for each group, once a week.

Stay with it. "A lot of people are anxious about weight-bearing exercises at first," says Ricci. "But once you get into it, you’ll find that you love feeling more stamina and greater strength."

Along the way, you'll also be building stronger bones.