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Regular exercise is crucial to a healthy life, but when it comes to your bones, not all exercise is created equal. For strong bones, experts recommend weight-bearing exercises and muscle-strengthening exercises. "Anything you do on your feet – walking, running, jumping, skiing – is good for bone health," Dr. Lewiecki says. On the other hand, non-impact exercises aren't effective for building strong bones. "Swimming is great for the cardiovascular system, but it doesn't help much with bones," Dr. Rizzoli says.

Why does exercise help make strong bones? Bones are living tissues that are constantly changing – some cells add calcium to bones, while other cells remove the mineral from bones. When you stress your bones through physical activity, the cells increase the rate of calcium addition, causing the bones to grow denser.