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Weight-bearing Exercise

Your doctor or trainer may suggest you try weight-bearing exercise. If you are not quite sure what it is, read on.

What Is It?

In weight-bearing exercises, your bones and muscles work against gravity and your feet and legs bear the weight. The weight and pull of the muscle make your bones build more bone cells. This makes your bones stronger. This kind of exercise may help prevent osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones.

How It Works

Weight-bearing exercises include strength-training (resistance) exercises and some aerobic (cardio) exercises. These exercises build strength and cardio work:

These exercises build strength:

These exercises can be low or high intensity depending on your needs. General exercise goals aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week. You may need to start with small bouts of exercises then work your way up. Look for ways to include weight bearing movement in everyday habits. Take stairs instead of elevator, walk instead of taking the car, or park a little further from the store.

Getting Started

Check with your doctor before you start an exercise program. If you are new to exercise, a certified athletic trainer can help you find a safe and fun program. You can find a trainer at a local gym, or by asking your doctor or a friend.

RESOURCES:

American College of Sports Medicine
http://www.acsm.org

National Strength and Conditioning Association
http://www.nsca-lift.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology
www.csep.ca/

Healthy Living Unit
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/pau-uap/fitness/

REFERENCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home.html.

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.sportsmed.org/tabs/Index.aspx.

The Physician and Sportsmedicinejournal.

Last reviewed January 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board  Last Updated: 1/29/2021