Did you know that resistance training doesn’t just build muscle? It also strengthens your bones.

You have 206 bones supporting the structure of your body and every single one is made of living tissue. Pressure nudges your bone-forming cells into action to make them stronger.

Power up your bones!

The good news is that you don’t need to spend hours in the gym or a fortune on special equipment. You can build strong bones, strengthen your muscles and improve your balance and stability with simple, everyday activities. For an extra challenge, use weights and resistance bands to increase the intensity of each movement.

Bone building activities

  • Stair climbing
  • Walking
  • Aerobics
  • Jumping and skipping with a rope
  • Tennis
  • Dancing
  • Running

Body weight exercises

Squats

Bend both knees towards your toes with your legs close together or wide apart, Even getting up and down from a chair without using your hands is a kind of squat. 

Lunge

Step forward and bend both knees. You can do the same move but stepping behind you instead.

Press up

A full press up can be quite a challenge to begin with. Start on your knees or on all fours and bend your arms for more easier variations. Or place your hands on the wall, on the kitchen counter or on a stable and supported chair seat.

Exercise with weights

If you’d prefer not to buy weights, you can rummage in the store cupboard for alternatives, like tins of sweetcorn, or use small plastic bottles filled with water or sand.

Biceps curls

Hold your arm by your side with the palm facing out. Move your hand towards your shoulder by bending your elbow, then back down.

Arms out to the sides

Hold your arm by your side with the palm facing your body. Lift your arm out to the side until it’s in line with your shoulders and then slowly lower it back down.

Raise the roof

Bend your elbows to bring your hands up to your shoulders. Push your hands up towards the ceiling and slowly bring them back down.

Fuel your body

In addition to strength training, your body needs the right nutrition to support the process of building bones. Make sure that you’re getting enough protein (eggs, meat and nuts), vitamin D (from summer sunshine or a winter supplement), magnesium (almonds, spinach and cashew nuts), zinc (seafood, lentils, chickpeas) and omega 3 (oily fish, flaxseed) as well as calcium, to support strong, healthy bones.

Remember to check with your doctor if you’re not sure whether an exercise programme is suitable for you. Take your time, start slowly and build up gradually. Include a range of both upper and lower body strengthening exercises in your routine.