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Health Focus
The best exercises for healthy bones
23 Jan 2018

Our bones are the support system of the body, so it is extremely important to keep them strong and healthy. Here are some ways you can do this:

·       Weight-bearing exercise, such as brisk walking, that makes you work against gravity while staying upright. Some examples of weight-bearing exercises include weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis and dancing. [Examples of exercises that are not weight-bearing include swimming and bicycling. Although these activities help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits, they are not the best exercises to strengthen bones.]

·       Low-impact weight-bearing exercises (less likely to cause fractures) also build and maintain bone density.  These include:  elliptical training machines, low-impact aerobics, stair-step machines, walking (outside or on a treadmill).

·       Muscle-strengthening exercise will help decrease your risk of a fall or fracture. These exercises, which make you work against gravity in a standing, sitting or lying-face-down position, might include: elastic exercise bands, free weights, or weight machines.

·       Non-impact activities such as balance, functional, and posture may increase muscle strength and decrease the risk of falls and fractures. Exercises may include: Tai Chi, yoga and pilates.

There is not just one exercise routine that is best for everyone. Yours should be tailored with the supervision of a doctor specifically to your needs based on a medical evaluation of: fracture risk, muscle strength, range of motion, current physical activity level, fitness level, gait and balance. If you are new to exercise, or have not exercised for a while, you should aim to increase gradually your level of weight-bearing exercise to 30 minutes per day on most days of the week.


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