We know that exercise is good for our hearts and muscles, but what about our bones?

As we age, our bones can become weaker and more brittle. This is commonly known as osteoporosis and is typically associated with old age or lack of calcium. While we cannot change our age, a diet rich in calcium is not difficult to achieve. Common foods rich in calcium include: dairy products (cheese, yogurt, milk), oranges (fruit or juice), kale, and some fish (sardines). For some, increased calcium from food or supplements may not be enough to promote healthy bones

Fortunately, there is a fairly simple way to aid in the prevention of bone loss and weakening. Exercises that put stress on the bones such as weight training, jogging or walking can all help bones become stronger. This phenomenon can be explained using Wolff’s law. According to this law, bone will adapt to the loads under which it is placed. Meaning that an active lifestyle can help your bones become stronger. Much like muscle, bone is living tissue and will strengthen with exercise. Luckily, this can be done at any age.

One thing to remember, too much of a good thing is no longer good. Bones that are already weak need to be gradually trained. Before starting any exercise routine, make sure to check with your doctor first. Some exercises may not be suitable for all patients, especially those with joint or acute pain. Your doctor can assist you in determining what is safe and most beneficial for you.