Exercise and Bone Density

  • Evidence shows that inactivity leads to loss of bone mass. Regular aerobic exercise (i.e., walking, running, and dancing) and regular strength training exercise (i.e., free weights, machine weights, and elastic bands) increase bone mass or bone strength.
  • Exercise needs to be site-specific. For example, walking regularly increases bone mass in the hip and lower back but not wrist bone mass.
  • For pre- or postmenopausal women, exercise alone will not maintain or increase bone mineral density without calcium, vitamin D, and proper hormonal or other bone-building medications present.
  • Regular exercise also helps increase balance and coordination and reduces the risk of falls and subsequent fractures. Posture exercises can help prevent or reduce the slumping posture often associated with osteoporosis.