The Best Form of Exercise to Maintain Height

Written by: Gerda Endemann, PhD

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Published on: September 29, 2022

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Photo courtesy of Heather Hazzan/The Licensing Project

Perhaps if we were aware of just how early in life osteoporosis starts to develop, and that its consequences aren’t limited to broken bones, we’d take preventive actions sooner, including weight-bearing exercise. Weight training builds strong bones as well as muscles and can help maintain our height and upright posture throughout life.

WHAT IS OSTEOPOROSIS?

Osteoporosis is diagnosed when bones become so porous, weak, and brittle that falling or coughing can cause fractures. Vertebrae in the spinal column lose bone mass, shrink, and collapse. The results are:

  1. Loss of inches of height

  2. Back pain

  3. Hunched posture

  4. Broken bones

WHO’S MOST AT RISK OF OSTEOPOROSIS?

This isn’t something to put off thinking about until you apply for Medicare. In our 30s, we start slowly but surely losing bone mass. The teens and 20s are the times to form as much bone as possible, and after that it’s time to minimize bone loss. The likelihood of having osteoporosis increases with age, and is also higher in:

  1. Women, especially after menopause

  2. White and Asian people

  3. People who are underweight

  4. People who don’t absorb the calcium they eat because of GI disease, weight-loss surgery, or insufficient vitamin D

HOW CAN YOU PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS?

Physical activity helps prevents osteoporosis. In particular, weight-bearing activity can improve bone mineral density. And that includes the weight that you carry around all day, whether it’s your normal body weight or ankle weights. People with a low body weight are at higher risk of osteoporosis than those with a higher body weight.

Cells in bones sense when they’re subjected to stress and made to carry weight. They respond by forming new bone cells, which strengthens bones and reduces bone loss.

ADDING WEIGHT TO YOUR WORKOUTS

The Easiest Fix

Strapping these comfortable one- or two-pound weights onto your wrists or ankles is a simple way to make everyday activities and workouts more challenging.


  1. BALA WEIGHTED WRIST BANGLES

    Bala
    WEIGHTED WRIST BANGLES
    goop, $55

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  2. BALA WEIGHTED WRIST BANGLES – 2 LB

    Bala
    WEIGHTED WRIST BANGLES – 2 LB
    goop, $65

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Tools to Keep Handy

The soft silicone and neoprene coatings on these hand weights make them comfortable to hold. Curl them, press them, lift them, swing them, lunge with them, dance with them.


  1. BALA THE POWER RING

    Bala
    THE POWER RING
    goop, $89

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  2. BALA BALA BARS

    Bala
    BALA BARS
    goop, $59

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  1. GAIAM NEOPRENE HAND WEIGHTS, 10 LBS.

    GAIAM
    NEOPRENE HAND WEIGHTS, 10 LBS.
    goop, $17.98

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  2. GAIAM NEOPRENE HAND WEIGHTS, 5 LBS.

    GAIAM
    NEOPRENE HAND WEIGHTS, 5 LBS.
    goop, $9.98

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  3. GAIAM NEOPRENE HAND WEIGHTS, 3 LBS.

    GAIAM
    NEOPRENE HAND WEIGHTS, 3 LBS.
    goop, $6.98

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TONING MUSCLES AND BONES AND FINE-TUNING BALANCE

As we get older, it’s not only our bones that shrink. Muscle loss happens unless we take active measures to counteract it, and toned muscles are important for maintaining balance. These tools boost muscles, bones, and balance. The Strength Sliders and the Balance Ball Kit allow you to use your own body weight to stimulate bones and muscles and optimize balancing skills.


  1. B YOGA STRENGTH SLIDERS

    B Yoga
    STRENGTH SLIDERS
    goop, $25

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  2. GAIAM TOTAL BODY BALANCE BALL KIT

    GAIAM
    TOTAL BODY BALANCE BALL KIT
    goop, $20

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  3. CW&T FOREVER JUMP ROPE

    CW&T
    FOREVER JUMP ROPE
    goop, $85

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AFTER THE WORKOUT

Adding movement and weight gradually to your exercise routine should prevent any strains. But for a little muscle pain from everyday activities, the Theragun Mini Rose provides a quiet, deep, percussive massage. And Therabody’s high-tech Powerdot 2.0 provides relief using electrical signals to stimulate muscles and nerves. The well-designed app will show you how to use the Power Dot to help improve muscle performance, too.


  1. Therabody THERAGUN MINI ROSE

    Therabody
    THERAGUN MINI ROSE
    goop, $199

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  2. Therabody POWERDOT 2.0 DUO

    Therabody
    POWERDOT 2.0 DUO
    goop, $349

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NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT FOR BONES

Getting enough calcium and vitamin D throughout life as part of a healthy diet is essential for reducing osteoporosis risk. Calcium is a building block for bones, and vitamin D is crucial for getting the calcium you eat into your body. Vitamin K helps direct calcium to your bones.

A chocolatey square of FX Sunshine contains generous amounts of bone-building vitamins D and K. These vitamins, plus calcium, are also found in goop’s daily multivitamin packet The Mother Load. In addition, this multivitamin protocol contains vitamin C to assist in the body’s production of collagen, which provides the scaffold to hold calcium in bones.*

Related Reading on goop

How Do You Heal from an Old, Set-In Injury?

Tracy Anderson’s 15-Minute Full-Body Workout

10 Tips for Increasing Flexibility and Mobility

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.



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