Many people are familiar with the benefits of exercise in reducing the risk factor for heart disease, stroke and in preventing obesity however… did you know that the physical stress from exercise also stimulates bone growth? Bones are living tissues, and when the skeletal muscles contract, they pull at the attachment on the bone, with the resulting ‘stress’ stimulating the bone to thicken and strengthen. This is called hypertrophy. Conversely, a lack of exercise causes atrophy, meaning that the bone tissue wastes and become thinner and weaker.
Why your bones need you to exercise
Following a structured exercise program, physiological adaptations take place in the skeletal system including:
- Increased bone density
- Increased tendon and ligaments thickness and strength
- Increased joint stability
- Increased range of motion at a joint (following flexibility training)
The most effective types of exercise for building strong bones are weight-bearing exercises and strength-training
exercises. Some examples:
Brisk walking , Jogging/Running, Dancing, Skipping rope, Stair climbing, Weight machines, Free weights and Push-ups or doing exercises that requires you to use your own body weight.
Exercise is important for building strong bones for everyone, young and not so young. Exercise makes your muscles AND bones stronger.