Calcium is essential to good bone health. So is weight-bearing exercise. Bone is constantly breaking down and reforming. Doing weight-bearing exercises (activities that you do while standing that make your bones and muscles work against gravity) helps bone build more cells and become stronger. Examples of bone-building exercises include:
- walking, jogging and hiking
- team sports such as soccer, baseball and basketball
- climbing stairs
- weight training
Experts recommend doing these activities at least 30 minutes a day for four or more days a week. If you can’t do these activities because of health problems, swimming and bicycling, while not great weight-bearing activities, can provide some bone building, and are certainly better than doing nothing.
It’s also recommended that you avoid smoking and excessive drinking, as these can weaken bone.