We know that exercise is good for our overall health including our bones. But, what are the best exercises and how often should they be performed? The answer to this question will vary depending on the individuals’ age, cardiovascular fitness, and associated comorbidities. There are general guidelines in place with support for exercise in children and adults. For example, the Center for Disease Control suggests that kids and teenagers participate in impact activities such as running and jumping into their regular exercise to build healthy and strong bones.
The usual advice of weight-bearing exercises and resistance training for keeping bone health also refers to pre-premenopausal women. But, in this population, daily physical exercise may not be sufficient to improve bone mineral density. Preferably, as shown by several studies, more powerful impact exercises such as jumping, jump rope and plyometric exercises may be required as these connected with bigger improvements in bone mineral mass when performed daily.
The positive impact of exercise on bone growth is reduced in post-menopausal women due to an improved rate of bone breakdown. There is data to suggest that a mixture of resistance and weight-bearing activity in post-menopausal women can develop bone density and prevent falls. The type, intensity, and frequency of exercise, particularly for the elderly, need to be provided to each individual based on their age, fitness level, and medical history. Before starting a healthy exercise program, a physician’s evaluation and approval are recommended.
In summary, it is important to achieve a high maximal peak bone mass in children and young adults, and also keep healthy bones throughout adulthood. This can be achieved by eliminating factors that cause bone breakdown and incorporating daily exercises that involve a combination of weight-bearing and resistance training.