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Is your exercise bad for your bones?

If you only swim or cycle to keep fit you may have low bone density. How can this be increased? After hammering our knees with higher impact sports for decades, we turn to cycling or swimming to avoid the pounding that comes with running or the stress on the joints from twists and turns from tennis or football. They work the heart just in the right way to boost cardiovascular health, keep the brain ticking over and help keep muscles strength. Perfect right? Wrong according to a study by Dr Karen Hind a researcher in bone physiology and health a Leeds University she is concerned that millions of middle age men and woman are turning to these low impact exercises are not aware of the type of exercise needed to protect your skeleton. People reducing impact on the bones due to knee or hip pain are missing out on strengthening the bone. As this requires load and force to increase its strength only achieved by 'gravitational impact' or movement that involves shifting your body weight off the ground with shocks and jolts. A degree of forceful impact has the direct effect of making muscle pull bone which causes changes as cellular level within the bone by stimulating osteoplasts, bone forming cells and encouraging growth. If you swim or cycle you will need to do work in some weight exercises or Pilates for the bone building to occur. Skipping, jumping jacks, and twisting will all help improve bone health (Tennis and Netball) however Dr Hinds top tip is a ZUMBA class all the jumping, moving the body in different ways makes it fantastic for stimulating bone growth.

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