After age 30, bone density begins to decrease, especially in women at a higher risk of osteoporosis.
To keep bones strong and healthy, people always mention the importance of calcium (obtained from food) and vitamin D (from sun exposure). In addition to this, however, the key to achieving good bone health is exercise.
As the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases explains, exercising frequently from an early age helps prevent bone loss. It does more than that, however: it also helps keep your muscles strong and maintains your coordination and balance, which are key to preventing falls.
“It’s better to be physically active than drink milk as a way to strengthen your bones,” states Christopher Gardner, nutrition specialist from Stanford University. According to Gardner, in countries like Japan and India, where dairy consumption is very low, bone fracture rates are very low due to their populations’ exercise habits.
For people over age 20, the recommendation is to do exercises 30 minutes a day that require bearing your own bodyweight such as dancing, weightlifting, hiking, tennis or simple actions such as walking, running and doing stairs.
Before starting an exercise regime, people with heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes or osteoporosis should talk with their doctors about the activities that are best for their state of health.