What exercises can help prevent bone loss in older adults?

F. Michael Gloth, III
Geriatric Medicine
Weight-bearing exercises improve bone health by reducing the bone loss that typically occurs with aging. Resistance training also benefits bone health, whether done on machines or with free weights. Walking is also helpful, because of the weight shifting that occurs with each step you take. Exercises such as swimming or cycling, which do not involve any or much weight-bearing, have much less effect on bone density.

The shifting of weight seems to be almost as important as the amount of weight you lift. Subtle vibration (even 10 minutes a day on a low-magnitude vibration plate) is associated with improvements in bone mass, which should lead to greater resistance to fracture.
Fit at Fifty and Beyond: A Balanced Exercise and Nutrition Program (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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Fit at Fifty and Beyond: A Balanced Exercise and Nutrition Program (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

As people reach their fifties, the body’s metabolism slows. Without a change in eating or exercise habits, it’s common to put on weight and become less able to perform routine physical...
Exercises that maintain contact with the ground are known to help prevent bone loss in older adults. The exercises don’t necessarily have to include outside resistance. For instance, low level plyometric drills also help prevent bone loss – by stimulating bone growth. Some exercises you can do to prevent bone loss include the following:

• Squats
• Lunges
• Pushups
• Line jumps
• Hurdle hops

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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.