Physical activity not only strengthens our muscles but improves our bone health as well. We need to pay more attention to our bones since they’re our support system. Having poor bone health means our quality of life will decrease and doing simple tasks will be a burden. Exercising and physical activity help our bones stay dense and healthy, which is why it’s so important for us to get in that movement! Keep reading our article to know some of the benefits of physical activity on bone health.
Benefits Of Physical Activity On Bone Health
- Improves Bone Density
- Strengthens Bones
- Protects The Bones
- Improves Balance
- Reduces Risk Of Osteoporosis
1. Improves Bone Density
One of the most crucial benefits of physical activity on bone health is that it builds bone density. Bone density is basically the amount of bone mineral present in your bone tissue; the better mineral volume it has, the stronger your bones become.
Try doing weight-bearing exercises to make the most of your physical activity regimen. This type of exercise helps to promote better bone density, and the best part is they’re pretty simple to perform. You do a weight-bearing exercise on your feet, adding an added force to your skeleton. Your bones and muscles have to work in tandem to keep your body erect, enabling the bones to build themselves up and get stronger.
Some low-impact weight-bearing exercises include stair climbing, brisk walking, and low-impact aerobics whereas some high-impact exercises include jogging, basketball, and step aerobics. See whichever one suits you best.
2. Strengthens Bones
Your bones require necessary minerals for them to remain strong. Although you can take supplements, physical activity would be another option to better release minerals into your bones so that they become strong. For this to happen, resistance exercises are the way to go. They help to release minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and other minerals that further bone strength.
Wolff’s law explains how our bone density changes. It states that your bones will adapt to the changes it bears. When we engage in a physical activity like weight lifting, we’re using our muscles to put stress on our bones. If we increase the load, our bones will remodel accordingly to account for the weight, resulting in our bones getting stronger.
When you do a resistance exercise, you use much of your muscle strength. So if you do a vigorous activity like weight-lifting, or push-ups, your tendons will force your bones to push harder, and this helps in boosting bone strength. Some other resistance exercises you can do are band pulls, lunges, squats, and chin-ups.
3. Protects The Bones
One of the other benefits of physical activity on bone health is that it helps in protecting bones. As we build muscle mass by working out, we’re allowing our bones to be cushioned better, resulting in enhanced protection against minor injuries.
To ensure that we have the strength to lift, we need to see that our bodies are exercised. Lean muscle mass disappears as you age, replaced with with fat if you don’t do anything about it. Weight-bearing exercises help reverse this, ensuring you remain fit. By building muscle mass, you’ll be able to not only lift weights comfortably and for longer periods, but also provide better cushioning to your bones, resulting in better bone protection.
4. Improves Balance
Physical activity can reduce the risk of bone fractures in two ways – by helping you build bone density and by improving your flexibility, balance, and strength, all of which help in reducing your chances of falling and getting a fracture.
Yoga is a good exercise to enhance balance and flexibility. With its numerous poses and stretches, you’ll be able to develop better coordination, improving your ability to balance yourself. Also, the slow movements, which are done in yoga, help to increase blood flow and develop muscle strength.
You can also try tai chi, an ancient Chinese martial art that’s used for meditation and improving coordination. As we grow older and our balance and reflexes slow down, there’s an increased risk of falling. Combined with the weakening of bones due to old age, this results in much higher chances of damaging your bones. By doing tai chi, your physical components such as your flexibility, range of motion, reflexes, and leg strength are targeted which helps in maintaining balance, even as you grow older.
- Reduces Risk Of Osteoporosis
One of the other benefits of physical activity is that it reduces the risk of osteoporosis and helps in maintaining bone mass for those who already have the ailment. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when bone mineral density and bone mass decrease.
Weight-bearing exercises help in slowing mineral loss in the bones. In addition, this type of exercise has a greater influence on developing bone density than low-impact exercises. But to reap the long-lasting benefits, you need to ensure that you exercise regularly.
A Few Points To Remember Before Engaging In Any Physical Activity
- If you’ve just got a hip replacement or had any skeletal problems in the past, make sure that you’re doing the exercises with a personal trainer. Although Zoom or YouTube workouts are good, they don’t add that personal touch. Also, a personal trainer will be able to guide you better so that you don’t aggravate any past bone-related issues.
- If possible, see that your exercise regimen has a good mix of low-impact and high-impact exercises.
- Don’t strain yourself while exercising. What your body needs is movement so that your bone health and muscle strength improve.
- For those who have osteoporosis (a condition that makes the bones brittle), we recommend asking your doctor which exercises to do. Some exercises that require a lot of bending and twisting are not recommended.
These are the two main benefits of physical activity on bone health. Just remember that the more you exercise, the stronger your bones will be, so keep exercising as much as you can. Try getting an exercise buddy along so that you feel motivated to do so.
What Physical Activity Is Good For Bone Health?
Any type of physical activity is good for your bone health. You can do sports like basketball, and tennis, or low-mobility exercises like walking, low-impact aerobics, and stair climbing.
Why Is Bone Health So Important?
Our bones support and allow movement to do a range of physical activities. They store calcium and phosphorus (minerals that strengthen our bones) and release them as needed by our bodies. Also, our bones protect our heart, lungs, and other organs from accidents. And for all these reasons, we need to pay keen attention to our bone health.
Can I Increase Bone Density?
Yes, increasing bone density is completely doable. Weight-bearing exercises are the best when it comes to promoting better bone health and density.
What Can Cause Bone Loss?
Many factors contribute to bone loss. Low physical activity, poor diet, excessive smoking, and age are among them.