Everyone knows that working out can help skeletal muscle become both bigger and stronger. Many people do not know that bones also benefit from exercise. The process of bone growth is called “remodeling,” and it is triggered by physical stress placed on bones. Every workout that benefits skeletal muscle also benefits the corresponding bones. Because bone growth and strengthening is a byproduct of exercise, exercise is a great way to help prevent the onset of bone conditions like osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle. A person who suffers from osteoporosis is highly susceptible to fractures and breaks even from everyday activities. A great way to help prevent osteoporosis is engaging in regular exercise. More specifically, weight-bearing exercise and resistance training have been found to be very effective. Weight-bearing exercises are those which require the participant to remain upright and move against gravity. They can be high intensity movements such as jumping or running, or they can be low intensity movements like walking. Resistance training refers to weight training or weight lifting. When you exert a force against an outside weight, you are placing your bones under the necessary stress to elicit remodeling. The amount of remodeling that takes place is directly related to the intensity and frequency of exercise. The higher the level of stress placed on bone, the more remodeling will be done. Just like muscular growth, bone growth occurs over time, and requires frequent exercise. It is recommended that anyone seeking information on the topic speak with their physician and trainer.
Triplett, N. T., Calatayud, J., Borreani, S., Moya, D., & Colado, J. Exercise to Improve Bone Mineral Density. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 35, 70-74.