Bone Health: Bash Your Bones To Keep Them Strong

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To maintain bone health and bone strength, bones need the stress of gravity, which excludes cycling and swimming, writes Jane E. Brody in a New York Times’ article.

healthy bones

Mrs. Jane Brody, a senior with artificial knees who still exercises daily, is citing a research study of bone mineral density in young athletes, which has shown that bones respond better to exercises that involve forceful muscle contractions with starts and stops, like tennis and basketball.

But, cycling and swimming should not be abandoned as preferable exercise for the seniors, because the benefits are great and lead to healthy bones.

“Before I was too discouraged (and before you abandon exercises like mine and retreat to your recliner), I did some more research. Regular walks can indeed offer some protection against hip fractures among women (and presumably, men) of a certain age, I found.”, she wrote.

Walking and dancing for bone health

According to Nurses’ Health Study, done with thousands of women, walking for at least four hours a week can lower the rick of hip injury by at least 40 percent. Despite protecting the hip and the bones, walking, or any other form of exercise, is healthy for other reasons, like lowering the risk of hearth disease and strokes. Obviously, walking is better then doing nothing.

“You know how people say that ‘eating right and exercise’ are the best fountain of youth… well it’s true!” says Manhattan Orthopedic Care’s specialist Dr. Armin Tehrany.

Interestingly, dancing is also a great exercise for bone health as well, advises Dr. Vonda Wright from the Center for Sports Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He has studied 3,000 athletic seniors who, even in their 70s and 80s, still have higher bone density than the general population.

“The waltz or swing dance is one of the most popular things I prescribe,” Dr. Wright said.