Many thanks to “Mind The Science Gap,” a worthwhile blogging project by public health students at the University of Michigan, for this excellent post among many others. It argues that exercise is good for far more than weight loss, and avoiding osteoporosis — even if it seems to young women like a problem of the distant future — is one of those many reasons.
The post cites “A recent study in Sweden” that “confirms that high-impact exercise can improve bone density in younger women, giving them better protection against developing fractures as they age.”
Many types of exercise can help shed pounds, but only weight-bearing exercise—for instance, jogging as opposed to swimming—is recommended for increasing bone density. Weight-bearing exercise requires resistance from muscles and bones, which helps to make them stronger. While weight-bearing exercises have been known to be the key type for developing stronger bones, the newest research suggests there may be differences even between similar activities.