According to the NIH (National Institute of Health) the best bone building exercises are those which are weight-bearing: weight training, walking, running, hiking, climbing stairs, and tennis. All these exercises exert your muscles in short but dynamic spurts, placing pressure on bones, which helps to build bone mass and keep them from deteriorating faster. While cycling and swimming, which are not weight-bearing, do help maintain and build muscle, they aren’t as effective. They are excellent for your cardiovascular health, but not the best if your target is bone mass building.
For bone mass building, diet and exercise are essential. We shouldn’t focus on one sole type of health practice though. We should be targeting all our body’s needs. Heart, muscles, bones, balance, and sound nutrition.
You don’t need a gym and complicated machines that don’t mimic your body’s natural movements. Your body weight is enough to do the job as squats, push-ups, and stair-climbing, which use your body weight. Adding weights to your exercise regimen, which you should do at least three times a week, will get you even better returns.
Running, walking, sprinting which use your body weight, are excellent weight-bearing exercises to not only improve your bone density, but your balance and muscle density.
On another note, sitting all day taking calcium supplements may be like flushing money down the toilet. The best way for your body to absorb calcium or any other vitamin or mineral is through real food. Go for that greek yogurt that your body can identify and is ready to absorb.
|Dairy products such as low-fat and non-fat milk, yogurt and cheese||Calcium. Some dairy products are fortified with Vitamin D.|
|Canned sardines and salmon (with bones)||Calcium|
|Fatty varieties such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines||Vitamin D|
|Fruits and vegetables|
|Collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, mustard greens and broccoli.||Calcium|
|Spinach, beet greens, okra, tomato products, artichokes, plantains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, collard greens and raisins.||Magnesium|
|Tomato products, raisins, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, papaya, oranges, orange juice, bananas, plantains and prunes.||Potassium|
|Red peppers, green peppers, oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, strawberries, brussels sprouts, papaya and pineapples.||Vitamin C|
|Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens and brussels sprouts.||Vitamin K|
|Calcium and vitamin D are sometimes added to certain brands of juices, breakfast foods, soy milk, rice milk, cereals, snacks and breads.||Calcium, Vitamin D|