5 Weight-bearing Exercises for Retirees

Tai Chi

Here's a statistic you might not know: More than 90 percent of hip fractures occur in women 65 years old or older, most often because of falls [source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. One of the best measures you can take to prevent a hip fracture is to ensure your bones are strong and your balance is good.

Tai chi is a slow, meditative mind-body exercise that's linked to improved muscle strength and better overall balance and flexibility -- all helpful for preventing falls, by up to 55 percent [source: Stevens]. Studies have found it may also reduce the amount of bone loss in postmenopausal women already dealing with bone thinning.

Research published in "Physician and Sportsmedicine" found that bone loss in postmenopausal women who practiced tai chi for 45 minutes a day, five days per week, for one year was up to 3 1/2 times slower than that of their peers who did not practice tai chi [source: Douglas]. And that improved bone density can help reduce the risk of injury, such as fractures from falls, by as much as 33 percent [source: Stevens].

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