Exercises to Help Prevent Bone Loss

In the United States, more than 44 million men and women over the age of 50 are affected by osteoporosis or low bone mass.

While some exercises may be hard on joints, many, when done correctly, will help strengthen bones and prevent bone loss. There are two basic types of activities: weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises.

Weight-bearing Exercises

  • These activities help build bone strength when you move against gravity while remaining upright.
  • High-impact weight-bearing exercises—dancing, aerobics, hiking, running, stair-climbing
  • Low-impact weight-bearing exercises—elliptical machines, low-impact aerobics, fast walking (either on a treadmill or outside)
  • You can perform these exercises for 30 minutes each day of the week.

Muscle-strengthening or Resistance Exercises

  • These activities involve moving your body, a weight or some other type of resistance against gravity.
  • You can perform these exercises two to three days per week.
  • You can break up these exercises into small sessions and also by muscle group.

There are also non-impact exercises that can help to improve your balance, posture and movement in everyday activities. These exercises can also help increase muscle strength and lower the risk of falls.

  • Balance exercises
  • Posture exercises
  • Functional exercises
  • You can perform these exercises every day or as often as needed.