Everyone knows February 14 is Valentine’s Day, but the 14th isn’t just for chocolate and romance. It’s also Ferris Wheel Day! This is a great ride, even if you’re older and your bones are not as strong as they used to be. It doesn’t jostle you or pound your lower limbs like a roller coaster would. However, pounding isn’t all bad. Some safe impact and weight-bearing exercising is actually great to help build bone strength.
Bones grow thicker and denser under stress. Dense bones are stronger and less likely to break under strain. Exercising increases this density as the body responds to hard impacts and weight-bearing strain. All the pounding stimulates the body to thicken up your bones to handle the pressure.
This can help as you get older. Bones weaken with age—especially if you have a condition like osteoporosis. The thicker your bones are, the better your body can handle slight losses in bone mass. Even if you’re older and have reached your peak bone density, weight-bearing activities can help prevent your bones from thinning too much or too quickly. There are two main types of weight-bearing exercises that help build bone strength:
- High-Impact Activities – These are activities that involve your feet absorbing shock and striking the ground repeatedly. Dancing, hiking, jogging, jumping rope, tennis, most team sports, and some types of aerobics all involve hard impacts that stimulate your body to thicken your bones.
- Low-Impact Activities – These are activities that still require you to support your own body weight, which benefits the bones, but doesn’t involve pounding the ground. This can be helpful for people who can’t do high-impact exercising because of injury risks. Weight training, biking, walking, and using an elliptical machine can all help build bone strength.
Other types of exercise are good for your body and your bones as well. Strength training to tone your muscles can protect your bones. Balance training could help you avoid issues from falling later in life. In general, staying active is a good way to stay healthy, strong, and injury-free for many years.
If you’re concerned about weakening bones, particularly as you age, it’s not too late to experience the benefits of exercising for building a denser skeleton. Let Dr. Darren Silvester at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic in Pleasanton, TX, help. Make an appointment by calling (830) 569-3338, or through our website.