Body and Soul: Bone-Building Action
Build better bones
If you are a woman, you start losing bone density in your late 30s, and it can go downhill from there.
In fact, your risk of getting osteoporosis during your lifetime is a huge 50%.
But you don’t have to be a runner or heavy-duty weight lifter to build bone mass. Any weight-bearing activity—walking up the stairs, carrying a baby or a load of groceries—can help prevent bone loss.
Plan to get more bone strength
Building bone doesn't have to be boring. Start by jumping up and down or skipping every day for 2 minutes.
And try these other bone-healthy moves from Miriam Nelson, PhD, director of the Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Tufts University—no gym required, just some dumbbells and ankle weights.
Start with 2- to 3-pound weights and slowly increase as you gain strength. Take a rest day between weight workouts.
You can do these moves while watching TV or sitting at your desk at work.
Bent forward fly
Sit up straight in a chair with feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart.
Holding a weight in each hand, extend your arms out in front of you, with palms facing each other and elbows slightly bent; bend forward slightly, about 3 to 5 inches.
Pull your arms back as far as they will go for a count of 2 and hold for a count of 1, then slowly return to starting position for a count of 4; repeat 8 times. Rest for 1 minute, do a second set.
Side leg raise
Put on ankle weights and lie on your right side.
Bend right leg under you, keeping left leg straight. Support head with right arm, and put left arm out in front for balance. For a count of 2, lift your left leg about 2 feet, hold for a count of 1, and slowly lower for a count of 4; do 8 reps, then switch sides and do 8 reps with right leg.
Rest for 1 minute, then do a second set.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding a dumbbell in each hand and resting your arms on either side of your body.
Press the weights up for a count of 2, keeping your palms facing your feet, then slowly lower back down for a count of 4; do 8 reps, rest for 1 to 2 minutes, then do a second set.Looking for more strength-training moves to add to your exercise routine? Visit Nelson’s site,