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Will exercise strengthen bones after menopause?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Weight-bearing exercise such as brisk walking will slow bone loss and strengthen bones. Any exercise where you are pushing against gravity will help build bone strength. Other good options are tennis, running, or climbing stairs. The more active you are, the stronger your bones will be and the more you will slow down bone loss.

Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health

While weight-bearing exercise does not increase bone strength postmenopause, it does increase balance and muscle strength. This prevents falls and thus prevents fractures. The bottom line is that exercise is important at any age.

Weight-bearing exercise will strengthen bones for everyone, including post-menopausal women. Good options are resistance training, walking, jogging and running.

Post-menopausal women are at higher risk for bone loss. Resistance training and weight-bearing exercises are very important for retaining and improving bone density. You should incorporate resistance training using free weights, machines and exercise tubing into your workout routine. Walking is a good form of weight-bearing exercise to help strengthen your bones as well as improve your cardio fitness level. Be sure to have your bone density checked as often as recommended for your stage of life. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that a woman have her bone density tested if she is menopausal with risk factors, over the age of 65, or if she is over 50 and has broken a bone. For more recommendations, check out the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s website at http://nof.org/articles/743.

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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.