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Keys to good bone health

Children who spend twenty-five minutes running around in play, or an extra thirty-five minutes walking per day, could ensure the prevention of osteoporosis development later in life.//Although this is the first research to directly link bone density to the number of steps taken per day, it is already well known that exercise is a major factor in the prevention of osteoporosis, the common bone-thinning disease. In fact, there are exercises that have been identified as particularly effective in building bone strength, and not just in children.

Weight-bearing exercises are great for building bone strength. The weight of the body is transmitted through the bones, working against gravity, and your bones respond to this force by growing stronger. Walking, jogging, dancing, hiking, stair climbing, and aerobic exercises are all weight bearing exercises. In a good bone strength regimen, these exercises should be performed three to five times per week, and the goal is to work up to forty-five minutes or more per session.

Keep in mind, however, that if you have osteoporosis, you should be careful about performing high impact activities such as jogging or high-impact aerobics. These exercises cause too much jarring of the spine and can increase the risk of vertebral fractures.

Resistance exercises are also part of a good osteoporosis prevention program, and should be performed two to three times per week. They strengthen the muscles and stimulate the bones to grow stronger. Exercising with weights or resistance bands are examples of this type of exercise. If you have osteoporosis, make sure to review your strength-training program in advance with your physician or physical therapist.


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