Exercises that force one's body to work against gravity are known as weight-bearing exercises. These types of exercises strengthen muscles and bones and improve posture and balance.
Human bone is a dynamic tissue that keeps absorbing calcium from the blood and at times gives away its calcium when needed for other bodily functions. As people age, bones tend to get porous due to an increased loss of calcium from the bones. This increases the risk of back pains, arthritis, and fractures. Fortunately, bones have a special quality. Bone responds to being pitched against gravity. It strengthens when it must consistently bear weight against gravity.
The exercises that force the body to work against gravity are called weight-bearing exercises. These exercises strengthen bones and muscles and improve balance and posture. These exercises work directly on the leg bones, hips, and lower spine to slow age-associated mineral loss. Weight-bearing exercises are good for everyone. However, they are especially recommended for
- elderly individuals to maintain stronger bones;
- people with poor bone health or vitamin D deficiency to reduce the risk of fractures;
- rehabilitation after injury or in case of diseases that cause poor bone and muscle health; and
- post-surgical rehabilitation.
Medically Reviewed on 6/3/2021
National Osteoporosis Foundation. "Osteoporosis Exercise for Strong Bones." <https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/exercisesafe-movement/osteoporosis-exercise-for-strong-bones/>.
United States. National Institutes of Health. National Osteoporosis Foundation. "Osteoporosis Exercise for Strong Bones." <https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/exercise/exercise-your-bone-health>.