Beyond Walking: Why You Need Strength Exercises To Keep Your Bones Healthy

Lift weights, play tennis or dance at least twice a week to stay bone healthy, according to the latest advice.

Lots of us know the importance of cardio workouts and getting in our 10,000 steps a day, but we may not be paying enough attention to strengthening exercises, according to a report by Public Health England (PHE).

The report recommends that people should do at least two exercises that support bone and muscle health each week to have the best chance of ageing healthily.

Dancing, tennis, weight lifting, yoga and Tai Chi are all good strength conditioning workouts that people should be doing, according to PHE’s advice, in collaboration with the Centre for Ageing Better charity.

Nordic walking - very brisk walking with ski poles to give your upper body a workout as well as your legs, is also mentioned as being beneficial for people at any age.

Dr Zoe Williams, physical activity champion for PHE, said: “Being active isn’t just about getting your heart pumping – although this is a good way to begin. Strength and balance activities work in conjunction with cardio activities like brisk walking, and come with a range of health benefits throughout your life - it’s never too late to start.”

Musculoskeletal health conditions are the second most common cause of sickness absence in the UK, accounting for 30.8 million days of lost work, according to PHE.

Dr Alison Tedstone, head of diet, obesity and physical activity at PHE, added: “On average we’re all living longer and this mixture of physical activities will help us stay well in our youth and remain independent as we age.”

If you’re interested in taking up dance, have you considered Ceroc? Check out our guide to this fusion of salsa and Rock’n’Roll here. Or what about aerial yoga?