Exercise and Bone Health
Why Exercise Is Good for Bones
Aerobic (Cardiovascular) Exercise
- Stair climbing
Resistance Exercise (Strength Training)
Weight lifting, using:
- Free weights
- Weight machines
- Elastic tubing
- Calisthenics (eg, push-ups, chin-ups)
Tips for Beginning:
- Warm up for five minutes before activity. This can consist of stretches and a light walk.
- Start the activity slowly for the first five minutes.
- Slowly increase your intensity so that your heart rate increases. A person doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity can talk. A person doing vigorous-intensity activity cannot say more than a few words without stopping to take a breath.
- Gradually increase your workout until you are working out at least 150 minutes a week at moderate–intensity or 75 minutes a week at vigorous intensity.
- Begin each exercise with very low weights and minimal repetitions.
- Slowly (over weeks) increase weight, never adding more than 10% in a given workout.
- Do these exercises 2-3 times a week. Allow for one day between each workout for your bones and muscles to rest and repair themselves.
- Gradually increase the number of repetitions to 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions with a rest period of 30-60 seconds between sets.
- Although stiffness the day after exercise is normal, if you are in pain, you did too much. Decrease the intensity or the duration of your exercise.
National Osteoporosis Foundation http://www.nof.org/
The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports http://www.fitness.gov/
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org/
Healthy Living Unit http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/pau-uap/fitness/
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx#toc. Published October 2008. Accessed June 11, 2012.
Osteoporosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 25, 2012. Accessed June 11, 2012.
Ryan A. The Physician and Sportsmedicine. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 1980.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 05/2012 -
- Update Date: 06/11/2012 -