The ideal: Lift weights at least twice a week. A wealth of research shows that working with weights strengthens bone mass, helps burn calories more efficiently, and reduces body fat, which in turn decreases the risk for coronary disease and diabetes, says Vonda Wright, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (And, no, moderate weight lifting won’t bulk you up.)
The next best thing: Do exercises that use the weight of your own body as resistance to strengthen muscles.
- Do push-ups and lunges at home.
- If you prefer yoga or Pilates, ask your instructor to increase the number of poses, such as downward dog, that rely on your body weight as resistance.
- Also try other activities that help guard against bone loss, like running, dancing, and jumping rope.