As a walker, hiker, swimmer and sailor, I was aware that these forms of exercise probably weren’t optimum for osteoporosis prevention – not enough weight-bearing component. The fact that over-weight people actually are at lower risk of osteoporosis because they are more actively weigh-bearing all the time, should tell you something.
Exercise for Osteoporosis: Make Sure It’s the Right Amount and the Right Type
The best exercises for building stronger bones involve jumping (basketball, volleyball), or sports that require abrupt changes in direction while running (field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, tennis). Activities such as cycling, swimming, and walking don’t provide enough “impact” on the skeleton to promote bone strength
More on the role of exercise in osteoporosis prevention from National Osteoporosis Foundation
Two types of exercises are important for building and maintaining bone mass and density: weight-bearing and resistance exercises. Weight-bearing exercises are those in which your bones and muscles work against gravity. This is any exercise in which your feet and legs are bearing your weight. Jogging, walking, stair climbing, dancing and soccer are examples of weight-bearing exercise with different degrees of impact. Swimming and bicycling are not weight-bearing.
The second type of exercises are resistance exercises or activities that use muscular strength to improve muscle mass and strengthen bone. These activities include weight lifting, such as using free weights and weight machines found at gyms and health clubs.
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National Osteoporosis Foundation