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Yoga can help to build bone strength as long as we give the body the right building blocks.

There is no doubt that what we eat & drink can have a huge impact on the make-up of our body, our diet is the building blocks that we use to help to keep us feeling fit, strong and healthy. Making sure that we eat a varied diet with all the right vitamins and minerals is really important but we can't always get enough of everything from diet alone - Vitamin D is of course one of the vital vitamins that we need some extra help with. If you spend time outside on a sunny day in summer without any form of sun protection we can generate enough vitamin D (depending on our skin type etc), but most of the year we need to take a supplement. Vitamin D is important to help us keep our bone density - strong dense bones are fortified against breaks and fractures, and problems like osteoporosis.

However diet alone is not enough to keep our bones strong - certainly it can provide the building blocks, but we also need to put a stress on the bones to encourage them to use the building blocks to get stronger and this comes from regular exercise. There are all sorts of forms of exercise that can help create the right kind of stress to help keep the bones in great shape

  • Running

  • Weight lifting

  • Jumping and skipping

  • Aerobics

  • Racquet sports

  • Hiking

and that is just some of them, although swimming and cycling doesn't count!

The right sort of Yoga practices can help strengthen the spine, hip bones and wrists in particular as well as the bones in the legs. Look for a class that offers standing poses based around lunges, squats and balances which will help with the bones in the lower body whilst variations on planks will help the upper body. By using the body weight against gravity we create a certain amount of stress on the bones which in turn helps the bones to build strength. Yoga classes that shift your body weight around from one side to another creates a low level impact which also helps create some stress on the bone structure all of which helps the bone density in a positive way.

Of course the added benefit with the physical part of Yoga is that it also helps to build muscular strength and keep the body mobile which all helps to protect and support our bones too.

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