Doing weight-bearing exercises throughout your life can help you prevent osteoporosis. They help you build strong bones as a young person. And they help you maintain your bone thickness (density) as an adult. But if you stop exercising, your bones will start to thin.
Some weight-bearing exercise is aerobic, such as walking, jogging, climbing, and dancing. Some is resistance, such as lifting weights.
Starting these exercises at any age will help prevent bone loss. It's best to do aerobic exercises for at least 2½ hours a week. For example, do them 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. Experts recommend that you do resistance exercises at least 2 days a week.
Exercises that aren't weight-bearing, such as swimming, are good for your general health. But they don't work your muscles and bones against gravity, so they don't stimulate new bone growth.
Current as of: September 8, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Carla J. Herman MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine