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An active lifestyle can provide a wealth of benefits, including healthy weight loss, help in staving off depression, and a means to combat ageing. This is why you should be mindful of the strength of your body’s foundation: your bones and joints, and the muscles that protect them.

As you age, your bones lose density. In fact, adults begin losing bone mass as early as their 30’s. According to the National Institutes of Health, “undertaking exercise after the fourth decade of life is still important, given the anti-ageing effect and health benefits provided.”[1] Studies show that diet and regular exercise can ameliorate the pain associated with arthritis, for example.[2] So while it’s always a good thing to establish a habit of eating healthfully and exercising regularly when you’re young, it’s never too late to begin a new exercise and diet regimen (after checking with your physician, of course).

According to the NIH, weight-bearing workouts—exercise that uses your body weight—and resistance training—using weights, bands and other gym equipment—are a great way to keep your joints and bones strong.

Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are the best for your bones. Weight-bearing exercises force you to work against gravity. They include walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, playing tennis, and dancing. Resistance exercises – such as lifting weights – can also strengthen bones.[3]

While it is recommended that everyone engage in some sort of daily physical activity, it is not necessary to carve out two hours at the gym for a training session. Thirty minutes of brisk walking has a net positive effect on your bones.[4] You can supplement the low-impact cardio with a resistance training program best suited to your level of fitness and build from there.[5]

No matter what your age, it’s important to proactively work on improving your bone and joint health.[6] Remember – they support you through everything you do!

[1] Silva, L., Elliot-Sale, K., and Sale, C. (2017, October 20). Exercise and bone health across the lifespan. Biogerontology. 2017; 18(6): 931–946. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5684300/.

[2] Eustice, C. (2019, June 6). 9 Ways to Keep Your Joints Healthy. Verywell Health. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/ways-to-keep-your-joints-healthy-189256.

[3] Silva, L., Elliot-Sale, K., and Sale, C. (2017, October 20). Exercise and bone health across the lifespan. Biogerontology. 2017; 18(6): 931–946. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5684300/.

[4] Eustice, C. (2019, June 6). 9 Ways to Keep Your Joints Healthy. Verywell Health. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/ways-to-keep-your-joints-healthy-189256.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Silva, L., Elliot-Sale, K., and Sale, C. (2017, October 20). Exercise and bone health across the lifespan. Biogerontology. 2017; 18(6): 931–946. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5684300/.

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