Weight Bearing Exercise. It’s Not What You Think

When I hear the same fitness mistake repeated over and over again, I realize that there must be some confusion going on. Case in point, whenever I bring up Weight Bearing Exercise in a consult, a typical response is “Oh, you don’t understand. I pump iron 4 times a week” or something similar.



No one is wrong for lifting weights, in fact, any and all exercise is encouraged. The problem is that weight lifting is actually Resistance Exercise and not Weight Bearing. There is a big difference.


Let me explain. Resistance Exercise is essential for keeping your skeletal muscles in shape, and it also helps maintain your ligaments and tendons (soft tissue). It does little for bone growth. This is where Weight Bearing Exercise comes in.


Weight Bearing Exercise is defined as any exercise where you bear the weight of your own body. This can be as simple as standing (e.g., get a standing desk in your office). Lest you think that standing is a wimpy exercise, watch an episode of Survivor where the contestants shake like leaves, cramp up and even pass out while they balance on a stump or beam.


Another simple way to strengthen your bones with Weight Bearing Exercise is walking. This doesn’t even require changing into work out clothes or special shoes.


For those who want to be a little more aggressive with it, there’s jogging/running and one of my all-time favorites, jumping rope. If you’re a person that enjoys the gym, the treadmill, the elliptical, and stair climbers are considered Weight Bearing Exercise.



“Put Life Into Living and Do It with Enthusiasm!”