A new study finds there’s an incredibly fast way to keep your bones strong and prevent osteoporosis. It takes just one minute a day.
Researchers at two universities in England found that short, intense bursts of activity are more beneficial to bones than long hours of mild exercise.
Scientists studied data on more than 2,500 healthy women. About half were premenopausal. The other half had gone through menopause.1
Using wrist monitors, researchers from the University of Exeter and the University of Leicester tracked the activity level of the women for a full week.
After that, they performed ultrasound scans of the subjects’ heel bones. The heel bone is a good marker of overall bone strength.
They found that women who did just one minute of high intensity, weight-bearing exercise each day had 4% better bone health than those who did not. And for the women who did more than two minutes each day, their bone health was 6% better.2
Those improvements may not seem dramatic, but scientists say a strength increase of just a few percentage points can prevent a bone fracture in a fall.
And the one-minute exercise was not hard. Researchers said the intensity of the “brief burst” activity was equivalent to a medium-paced run.
Dr. Victoria Stiles is a senior lecturer in Sports Biomechanics at the University of Exeter. She was lead author of the study. “There’s a clear link between this kind of high-intensity, weight-bearing exercise and better bone health in women,” she said.
The research recently was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Stop Bone Loss at Any Age
Studies show about half of women over 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. It will happen to about one in four men.3
It is a serious national medical problem. Over 54 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, and more than 2 million seniors are hospitalized each year with fractures due to weakened bones.4
Falling and breaking bones is a major reason seniors lose their independence and have to move into nursing homes.5
So an investment of one minute a day seems like a small price. Dr. Stiles said the burst of exercise can be as simple as adding a bit of running to your daily walk.
Other examples of weight-bearing exercise include jumping rope, aerobics, stair climbing, tennis, racquetball, and even fast-paced dancing.6
Whatever kind of exercise you choose, do it hard for at least a minute a day.
One other thing… Make sure you get enough magnesium.
A recent study found that adequate levels of the mineral can cut fracture risk nearly in half.
Editor’s Note: Bone loss is just one more thing we have to worry about as we get older. But recent studies show that the symptoms of aging can be treated…or eliminated. Go here to discover specific ways you can stop the clock.