Presbyterian Senior Care (HMO) and Presbyterian MediCare PPO | Summer 2022 | Your Story 5 Exercise does more than build strong muscles — it helps your bones. While your bones are growing, until you’re about 25 years old, exercise helps strengthen them. Later in life, exercise helps you preserve the bone mass you built in your youth. If you don’t take care of your bones, you risk developing osteoporosis. That’s a disease that leads to fragile bones, which are more prone to breaking. There are two types of exercise you can do to help fend off osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises This includes any activity you do on your feet that works your bones and muscles against gravity. When your feet and legs support your body weight, it makes your bones work harder. Examples of weight-bearing exercises include: ● Brisk walking and hiking ● Jogging and running ● Dancing ● Tennis ● Stair climbing ● Using an elliptical training machine If you have osteoporosis or are at risk for it, you may want to avoid high-impact exercises like jogging, running, or dancing. Low-impact activities like walking or using a stair-step machine may be better for you. Strength-training exercises Strength-training exercises add resistance to movement, which makes both muscles and bones work harder. Examples of strength-training exercises include things like: ● Lifting free weights ● Using elastic exercise bands ● Using weight machines ● Lifting your own body weight with moves like pushups Howmuch is enough? According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a good goal for bone health is 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise four or more days a week. For strength-training, try to work each major muscle group at least twice a week. But always rest for a full day between strengthtraining sessions. Additional source: National Osteoporosis Foundation The four types of exercise There are four main types of exercise that can help keep your body and mind healthy. By doing a combination of these exercises, you can improve your health and help prevent injuries. See the list below for each type of exercise. Aerobic Keeps heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy — improving overall fitness. Strength Builds stronger muscles to support body movement. Balance Improves posture and stability and helps prevent falls. Flexibility Stretches muscles to help the body stay limber. How exercise helps keep bones strong