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How does exercise affect bones and joints?

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Quick Answer

Regular exercise help build bone density and lessens joint pain, according to WebMD. Exercise also helps bones and joints through indirect ways such as preventing falls and relieving the stress of excess weight.

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How does exercise affect bones and joints?
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Full Answer

Strength training and weight-bearing activities such as walking, hiking and tennis force the body to add bone density, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. These types of exercises also help men and women build and maintain muscle strength and coordination, which further prevents falls and fractures.

Strong muscles also relieve some of the burden on joints, according to the Hospital for Special Surgery. Exercise may also protect joints by helping individuals maintain or lose weight. For example, each pound of weight gained adds four times as much stress on the knee joints. Flexibility exercises also improve joint functioning according to WebMD. Exercises such as yoga, Pilates and stretching increase and maintain range of motion. These exercises should be performed at least three days per week.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. Moderate-intensity exercises include exercise such as walking and leisurely biking. Vigorous exercise includes running and biking on hills. Two days a week should be dedicated to strength training exercises that target major muscle groups.

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