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Weight-Bearing Exercise: 8 Workouts for Strong Bones

Here are the latest weight-bearing workout trends.
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The Latest Weight-Bearing Workout Trends continued...

4. Golf

Maybe you've always thought golf was for old folks -- people who could no longer do "real" sports. Think again. Shouldering that golf bag around 18 holes, and swinging the big clubs to drive the ball long, adds up to a lot of upper-body work. And all that walking, and chasing balls lost in the rough, means plenty of work for your hips and spine. Golf gives "weight-bearing exercise" a whole new name.

5. Dancing

OK, maybe you've got two left feet, or you were never the star in ballet. But we're not talking point shoes here; we're talking the hottest trends in salsa, samba, Lindy hop, rhumba, East coast swing, foxtrot, and tango. Use those hips to get your heart pumping in more ways than one, and build strong bones while you're at it.

Or try the newest aerobics, kickboxing, or step class at your health club or local Y. New classes emerge every few months to keep members motivated. A lot of them now combine strength training with dance or step moves -- and will perk up your balance as well.

6. Hiking

The work of weight-bearing -- and the impact as your feet hit the ground -- can increase bone density, especially in your hips. It's just like walking, and then some. You'll get even more impact on those bones if you're going uphill or downhill, and that can improve bone health even more. More impact on your feet and legs translates into more bone density, says the surgeon general.

And with hiking, boredom is rarely an issue. You're often socializing and meeting new people, as well as expanding your horizons as you see new landscapes.

7. Racquet Sports

Tennis, squash, and paddle tennis can rally your bone density. You're stressing your racquet arm, wrist, and shoulder every time you hit the ball, and working your hips and spine with all that running around -- and chasing down wild balls.

If you're going for racquet sports, go for singles. You'll get a lot more from your workout in terms of bone health, since you'll be running around more.

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Osteoporosis Glossary

  • Bone Mineral Density - A measurement of the amount of calcium and minerals in bone tissue.
  • Calcium - A mineral in (and vital to) your bones. If your body lacks calcium, it takes it from bones.
  • DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) - a test used to measure bone mineral density.
  • Osteoporosis - A decrease in bone density, which increase the risk of fractures.
  • Vitamin D - A vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium.
  • View All Terms

How do you exercise for strong bones?