Do more than one type of exercise to keep your bones strong.
According to Harvard Health, combining high impact aerobic activities and strength training is more effective for building bone in the hip and spine than resistance training alone. Pilates has the benefits of a strength training program as well as a Yoga and Tai Chi practice.
Six types of exercises to build strong bones
1/ Strength and Power Training
A well rounded strength training program benefits all of your bones including your hips, spine and arms which are most susceptible to fracture from osteoporosis. The bone building effects of strength training can be enhanced by adding power training.
Power training is a form of resistance training in which part of the exercise is performed at a faster pace. For example, the lift is done more quickly than the lower.
2/ Running or Brisk Walking
Walking at a leisurely pace, which is about 2.5 mph, for at least 4 hours per week can reduce your risk of hip fractures over time. Faster is better for building bone strength.
Researchers have discovered that a faster walking speed increases bone density more than resistance training. Running is better for building bone density than fast walking but there is a tradeoff. Running is harder on your joints so even though it’s better for your bones, it may not be better for you.
3/ Hiking or Stair Climbing
Hiking and stair climbing is a good way to increase the effectiveness of walking. Climbing up works your legs and glutes harder and climbing down increases the impact. Hiking and climbing also involves moving around obstacles. The hopping and zigzagging needed to get around obstacles helps to stimulates your bones.
Higher impact activities are more effective than lower impact activities for building bone density. Jumping and aerobics exert 3-6 times more force than your body weight. The force can be increased by changing the direction and type of movement.
If you have a good base of fitness, add plyometric exercises such as burpees to your workout to increase the bone building benefits. Start with a few high impact exercises and build up over time.
5/ Tennis and Other Vigorous Sports
The more challenges in a workout the more effective it’s likely to be for building strong bones. The sudden stops and starts and changes of direction in sports like soccer, basketball and tennis are good examples. Tennis also builds bone strength in your arms especially your dominant arm.
Other sports to consider for bone building benefits: squash, paddle tennis, pickle ball, basketball and volleyball.
6/ Yoga and Tai Chi
Neither yoga or Tai Chi require high impact or speed but preliminary studies link both to higher degrees of bone density at the hips and spine. It may be a result of the high degree of muscle control and strengthening.
As with other forms of strength training, Yoga strengthens bones in both the upper and lower body.
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