Frequently Asked Questions

15. Which exercises are best for bone health?

The best exercise for your bones is the weight-bearing kind, which forces you to work against gravity. Some examples of weight-bearing exercises include

  • weight training
  • walking
  • hiking
  • jogging
  • climbing stairs
  • tennis
  • dancing.

Examples of exercises that are NOT weight-bearing include

  • swimming
  • bicycling.

Although these activities help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits, they are not the best way to exercise your bones.

According to the Surgeon General, adults should get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days, and preferably every day.

For more on weight-bearing exercises that older adults can try, go to Exercises to Try: Strength Training

To see images and videos of step-by-step instructions for weight-bearing exercises, visit Go4Life, the exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at NIH.