How does exercise help my bones?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Just as exercise improves your muscle, it also builds your bone strength. In particular, weight-bearing exercise, which is just about everything except swimming and cycling, really helps kick up the bone-building process. Bone’s biggest enemy--besides, perhaps, a patch of black ice--is soda (or pop, if you’re from the Midwest).

Chemicals found in soda, such as phosphorous, may lead to bone loss, and the caffeine may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. We suggest drinking low-fat milk or calcium-fortified OJ instead of soda pop! Your bones’ best friends are vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium. A solid 40 percent to 60 percent of your bone mass is deposited during early puberty (ages 10 to 12 for girls, 14 to 18 for boys), with an extra 10 percent added during your twenties. Bone density peaks by the time you’re thirty, with bone loss happening after that. 

YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

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YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

A few years ago, we wrote YOU: The Owner’s Manual, which taught people about the inner workings of their bodies—and how to keep them running strong. But you know what? There’s a big difference...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.