Walking Can Be a Bone Booster
Experts have recommended high-impact aerobic
a means for increasing bone mass, but a review of 24
studies on aerobic exercise and bone mineral density in
women suggests that walking just 30 minutes per day a few
days a week is enough to moderately increase overall bone
A team of researchers from the Massachusetts General
Hospital Institute of Health Professions in Boston analyzed
studies that followed predominantly sedentary women
assigned to aerobic exercise programs lasting 16 weeks or
Walking was the preferred form of exercise by most
participants. Compared to non-exercisers, the regular
exercisers increased their bone mass by about two percent.
Exercise helps strengthen bones because it forces them to bear weight, which is why
high-impact exercise elicits even greater gains in bone density.
The fact that walking and other low-impact activities are also beneficial, however, is
particularly encouraging given that many women find high-impact exercise painful
or difficult to master.
Experts recommend women follow a program that combines both aerobic activity
and weight training, which also increases bone mass, to lower their risk of
Source: Annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, October 24,
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