A few bone facts you may not know:
- The human body comprises 206 bones
- Ounce for ounce, bone is stronger than steel
- You have two types of bone tissue: compact bone (densely packed) and trabecular bone (less dense, also known as ‘spongey bone’)
- Your bones begin thinning from the age of 30
This last fact is often the one that surprises – and perhaps shocks – people. But do not fret if you are aged above 30 – you can still strengthen your bones and even increase bone mass.
Nutrition and supplements play an important role, but regular exercise is crucial to prevent bone loss in later life as well as helping you remain agile and fit, which in turn aids in preventing bone-breaking falls in the first place.
Bones respond to exercise in the same way muscles do, the only difference is you cannot physically see the changes. Muscles pull harder on the bones as they grow stronger, increasing bone strength in the process. That’s why strength and conditioning, yoga, tai chi, plyometrics and pilates all help keep your skeleton strong and healthy and ward off osteoporosis and associated breaks as you get older.
If you want to get started on bone- strengthening, you’ll find three plyometrics-style exercises below. DocHQ Physio can also help you build strength with bespoke bone-strengthening programmes you can do from home.
Method: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and weight evenly distributed on both feet. Hold on to a chair if needed for balance. Lift both heels off the floor, rising up onto your toes and balls of your feet. Then, let your heels drop to the floor. Do 1-3 sets of 5-15 reps.
Method: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Hinge forward at the hips and bend your knees in a squat position. Jump up, straightening your legs, and land on both feet in the starting position. Let your arms swing naturally. Do 1-3 sets of 5-15 reps.
Method: Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Squat down, placing your hands on the floor. Keeping your hands on the floor, jump to extend your legs behind you into plank position. Explosively jump with your legs again to pull your feet back in toward your hands. Then lift your hands high as you jump straight up into the air. Bend your knees as you land and repeat the entire movement from the beginning. Do 1-3 sets of 5-15 reps.