The health benefits associated with an active lifestyle continue to expand. Many people who are affected by osteoporosis can improve their bone health with the right kind of exercise program. It seems that the most effective ways to increase bone density is by routinely engaging in a high impact activity like running, hopping, or jumping. These may seem like strange activities but research backs up the results.
If pounding the pavement seems a little harsh at your particular stage of life there is still hope. Older adults can see similar results by brisk walking at least four times per week. The benefits of walking can be further enhanced by moving in “odd-loading” directions. Odd-loading simply means that the health benefits of walking are enhanced when you walk in a direction other than straight ahead, like backwards or sideways.
The reason that impact activities increase bone health is because of ground force reactions. Your body is impacted by the ground and the reaction moves through your bones causing muscles to contract and bones to be stimulated. The net effect is that density is added to your bones and health is improved.
Research continues to validate the old saying that exercise does a body good. Now, it seems that the right kind of activity even increases the potential for better bone density. Consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise program and discuss the health benefits that could be waiting for you.
Check out our additional resources and articles on preventing osteoporosis and improving bone health.