Weight-bearing Exercise
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Weight-bearing Exercise

If your doctor or trainer recommends weight-bearing exercise and you're not quite sure what it is, read on.

What Is Weight-bearing Exercise?

In weight-bearing exercises, your bones and muscles work against gravity and your feet and legs bear the weight. Your bones adapt to the weight and pull of the muscle during weight-bearing exercise by building more bone cells and becoming stronger. This makes your bones stronger and may prevent osteoporosis.

How Weight-bearing Exercise Works

Weight-bearing exercises include strength-training (resistance) exercises and some aerobic exercises.

Exercises that are both weight-bearing and aerobic include:

  • Jogging
  • Walking
  • Stair climbing
  • Dancing
  • Soccer
  • Basketball

Strength training exercises include:

  • Calisthenics, such as push-ups or chin-ups
  • Weight-lifting, using:
    • Free weights
    • Weight machines
    • Elastic tubing

Getting Started

Before starting an exercise program, check with your doctor about any possible medical problems you may have that would limit your exercise program. If you're new to exercise, consider making an appointment with a certified athletic trainer to help you develop a safe, effective, and enjoyable exercise program. You can find a trainer at a local gym or through a referral from your healthcare provider 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/.

The Physician and Sportsmedicine journal.



Last reviewed July 2008 by Robert E. Leach, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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