Check out these simple weight-bearing exercises that promote bone growth.
As we get older, our bones tend to naturally lose mass and become weaker. It’s estimated that nine million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, which is the leading cause of broken bones in men and women over 40. Eating a healthy diet rich in calcium is a great way to improve bone health. But, exercise can play an important role as well.
Try these exercises to improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis!
1. Plank Position
Place your hands on the ground with your feet extended behind you as if you were about to do a push-up. Tighten your muscles to keep your body still in this position. Hold this position with a straight line from shoulders to ears for 30-60 seconds. For even more benefit, try to lift your hands off the ground one at a time and extend your arms forward.
You can begin push-ups on your knees placing your hands wide apart in front of you. Keep your abs tight throughout the exercise. Try 15-20 reps then move to a full push-up with your legs extended behind you once you’re ready.
3. Jumping Jacks
Your elementary school gym teacher had it right. Jumping jacks are a great exercise. Not only do they get your blood pumping, but the body weight you bear on your hips can help strengthen the muscles and joints in your lower body and prevent osteoporosis.
4. Balance Touchdowns
Balance on one leg and touch the ground with your opposite arm. Do several repetitions on each side. It takes strength to maintain your balance here, which is great for your hips and joints. This can help prevent falls as you age, which can be dangerous to your bones.
5. Reverse Lunge
Start with your feet together, then take a step backwards into a lunge position. Alternate on each leg 15 to 20 times. Make sure your knee is perpendicular to your hip. Keep your abdominals tight and your back straight.
It’s especially important as we age to give our bones the TLC they need. These weight-bearing exercises in addition to a calcium-rich diet are a great weapon in your fight against osteoporosis.