What’s the Best Way to Exercise Your Bones?

Beginning in our 30s, we experience a gradual decline in bone mineral density, losing about 1 percent each year. But there’s evidence that if you are physically active on a regular basis, you can optimize your bone health throughout your life, says Wendy Kohrt, distinguished professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Colorado. Any movement that causes you to fight gravity by standing up and moving is good for your bones. If you want to amp up the protection, these five exercises will help keep you — and your bones — strong for life.

1. Push-ups: You can do these against a wall, on bent knees or on the floor. Extend your arms and put your hands shoulder-width apart on the surface in front of you. Tighten your abs, then bend your arms, lowering your torso toward the surface. Push yourself back up. Perform the exercise three to five times, rest, and repeat for a second set.

2. Squats: You don’t have to do a deep squat for this exercise to be effective. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then bend at the knees to slowly squat down. (Rest your hand on a sturdy object if you need extra balance.) Squat as far as you can, but don’t let your butt get below your knees. At the bottom of the movement, tighten your buttocks and use your butt and thigh muscles to return to a standing position. Repeat eight to 12 times.

Excerpted from AARP

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