5 exercises to strengthen your bones

The 206 bones in the human body play a crucial role in our survival. Apart from carrying out their function of providing a protective and supportive framework for the body, they perform many other roles. Bones store crucial nutrients, minerals, and lipids and produce blood cells that nourish the body and play a vital role in protecting the body against infection. Let’s have a look at five exercises we can perform to strengthen our bones.

 

  1. Weightlifting/ squats

Weight training is a great bone strengthening exercise. Even lifting low weights and lots of repetitions can improve bone density up to 22% in postmenopausal women, who are at more risk of osteoporosis, according to a scientific study. Bodyweight exercises like push-up and squat also strengthen bones.

  • While doing squats, remember to start with your feet hip-width apart. You can rest your hands lightly on support or counter for balance.
  • Bend at your knees to slowly squat down. Position your back straight.
  • Squat only until your thighs are parallel to the ground
  • After a few seconds, return to a standing position
  • Repeat this exercise eight to 12 times

 

  1. Yoga

Scientific studies have proven that increased flexibility and improved balance are two benefits of yoga and both can help prevent falls and bone breakage, especially in senior citizens.  Performing yoga postures daily like the tree pose, the triangle pose, warrior pose, locust pose, bridge pose, and few others help to strengthen bones in the body. Stronger bones mean lesser fractures, which in turn reduces chances of dying prematurely.

 

  1. Walking/jogging/stomping

Walking and jogging will strengthen your leg bones since they support your body weight. As you jog, the added force of your feet against the ground will further put pressure your bones and make them more resilient. After these locomotion exercises, foot stomping is also a great way to strengthen bones, especially hips which are frequently affected by osteoporosis. While standing, stomp your foot imagining you are crushing an imaginary plastic bottle underneath it. Do it four times on one foot, then repeat the exercise with the other foot. Hold on to a railing or support if you have difficulty maintaining your balance.

 

  1. Dancing

A little more high-impact than walking but less impactful than jogging, dancing is a fun way to strengthen your bones. Join a Zumba or salsa class and start reaping the benefits of dancing, which include improved mood, better cardiovascular and bone health.

 

  1. Tennis

This wonderful sport is an excellent way to strengthen your bones. Apart from running around the court, which strengthens your legs, swinging the racket is also a resistance exercise that strengthens the upper body including arms. The impact of the ball also adds to the strengthening process.

While the above-mentioned exercises are relatively safe for your body- hiking, jumping rope, climbing, and running, simply put too much demand on your bones and increase the risk of fractures. Consult your physician before starting any exercise plan to be on the safer side and perform these routines under an expert.

March 20, 2019

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