For most people, bone loss begins after age 30.
By the time we reach retirement age, if not before, we become concerned about our bone loss.
We know of friends that fall and fracture bones. We hear that word osteoporosis, which means bone mineral loss.
Is there anything we can do?
As we age, we will never get back to the peak of our bone mass. We can stay active and improve our bone health.
Ways We Can Improve Our Bone Health
There are plenty of exercises and activities we can do. Let’s look at a few of the activities that can improve our bone health.
1) Weight-Bearing Activity
Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to find a gym and lift weights.
You are the weight!
This is exercise and activity that you do on your feet. Your bones will fight against gravity to keep you standing. As your bones are stressed by moving your body around, it makes them work harder and become stronger.
Some weight-bearing activities to consider are:
a. Brisk walking
c. Jumping rope
e. Stair climbing
As always with a new exercise or activity, know your limitations. Check with your doctor, if needed. Start with a smaller amount and gradually increase.
2) Strength Training Activity
Strength training activities and exercises are when you add resistance to movement. An example would be holding small weights while doing an aerobic workout.
Some strength training activities you might want to consider are:
a. Weight lifting
b. Weight machines
d. Push-ups (your body is the weight)
Most strength training activities increase your muscle mass. But they also put stress on our bones thus improving our bone health.
3) Other Forms Of Activity
Other non-impact exercises are not as effective at improving your bone health. These activities do provide flexibility and can strengthen your heart and lungs.
This could be activities such as:
b. Bike riding
If you have not been active for a while you can start with these types of activities. As your body starts to feel stronger you can then add in the weight-bearing activities.
When we are retired, how can we stay active to improve our bone health?
If you have not been active, start with a non-impact activity such as yoga or swimming.
When you are stronger, begin taking part in weight-bearing activities. These activities will improve your bone health. Try brisk walking or hiking as a weight-bearing activity.
As retirees, we want to have strong bones. We don’t want to fracture any of those bones if we fall.
Our muscles and bones work together. Next time we will learn if staying active will help us prevent muscle loss.