Calorie and Energy Expenditure Information
What is Weight-Bearing Exercise?
Exercise that works your bones and muscles against gravity is called weight-bearing exercise. Put simply, if your body weight is entirely supported by your legs and feet during an exercise workout, then it's a weight-bearing workout.
Weight-Bearing vs. Non Weight-Bearing Exercises
Fitness routines like walking, jogging, running, stepping, tennis, football, skiing and skating are all weight bearing routines. When you perform any of this exercise, your body weight rests on your legs and feet. Examples of non weight-bearing exercise include: cycling (weight supported by bike), rowing (weight supported by rowing-seat), and swimming (weight supported by water).
What are the Benefits of Weight-Bearing Workouts?
Exercise in which you support the weight of your own body helps keep your bones strong. This is because your bones and surrounding joints/muscles are gradually strengthened by weight imposed on them. Fitness experts have long advised women to engage in aerobic, weight-bearing exercise to increase their bone mass and mineral density in order to prevent the osteoporosis that can follow menopause. Osteoporosis is largely preventable if you get enough weight-bearing exercise when youre young and stay active as you get older.
What are the Drawbacks of Weight-Bearing Workouts?
In general, some weight-bearing exercise is essential for any exercise program. However, if you are very overweight, your doctor may advise you to restrict your physical fitness workouts to non-weight-bearing activity, until you feel strong enough to progress, in order to reduce the risk of injury.
Other Types of Resistance Exercise
Another way of strengthening your bones, as well as joints, tendons, ligaments and connecting muscle tissue, is to include resistance training as part of your fitness program. Resistance exercise, also called strength training, involves working the muscles against a form of resistance - usually a weight, although it also includes resistance offered by (say) an increased incline during walking, or bicycle pedals. By lifting weights, or increasing the difficulty level on an exercise-bike, you are forcing the muscles (and bones) to work harder. This helps to improve strength in the tissue and body areas affected. Resistance exercise that aims to make muscles and bones stronger is sometimes referred to as 'bone-loading'.
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