Are NASA's Suggestions On How To Increase Bone Density Correct? - Save Our Bones

Back in 1892, a German anatomist named Julius Wolff theorized that bone is created and changed in response to gravitational pressure. A fascinating and thorough new study confirms once again that he was right.

If you’re a member of the Save Our Bones community, no doubt you’ve heard about the importance of weight-bearing exercise and nutrition to strengthen bones. This recent study, involving astronauts on the International Space Station, confirms such bone-healthy wisdom.

You may be wondering how a study conducted in space can possibly relate to you. After all, here on earth we need to be concerned about falls and fractures.

But what was discovered in space actually has great relevance for us earthlings who are concerned about bone health.

Exercise is Not Enough: Bones Need Specific Nutrients to be Strong

While the right exercises are crucial to prevent fractures, the right nutrients are no less important. If you already have the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, you have the Foundation Supplement checklist along with the exact daily dosages you need to take for optimal bone health.

Researchers are just now beginning to admit there is a connection between nutrition and bone health (beyond the scope of calcium). In fact, despite their research, the scientists in this recent astronaut study still aren’t sure what constitutes “good nutrition.”

But the Osteoporosis Reversal Program does know what constitutes good nutrition, and it’s all scientifically-backed and presented in a clear, readable manner.

Astronauts Build Their Bones

The study I mentioned earlier,1 which was published in the September 2012 issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, centered on providing the International Space Station astronauts with “good nutrition” (focused mainly on adequate calories and protein), supplements, and exercise. The results showed an increase in their bone mineral density.

What Vitamins Did the Astronauts Take?

The supplement used for the study was Vitamin D, one of Save Our Bones’ Foundation Supplements. My regular readers know how important Vitamin D is for your bones and those who are following the Program have the complete vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant checklist so they know exactly what and how much to take of each. Consuming Vitamin D was part of the overall regimen that built the bones of these space-dwellers.

But Why Astronauts?

This study was conducted on astronauts because loss of bone density and strength is a major problem for those who spend time in zero gravity. Astronauts on long-term space missions have experienced bone density reduction to the point that it is a major medical concern. Without gravity to create the resistance needed for weight-bearing exercise, bones do not get the healthy stress they need to build and remodel. There’s no way to do weight-bearing exercises in space, because there is no “weight”!

This shows the vital importance of weight-bearing exercise in maintaining bone density. It’s undeniable that bones grow weaker without it.

Exercising in Space

In addition to taking Vitamin D and eating a “healthy” diet, the astronauts worked out regularly using an ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device). Because weight-lifting is out of the question in a zero-gravity environment, the ARED provided the resistance necessary to build bone by mimicking the gravitational resistance bones experience when you exercise here on earth.

At the end of the study, astronauts’ who took Vitamin D, exercised regularly on the ARED, and ate sufficient calories showed increased bone breakdown and bone renewal. In other words, remodeling and renewing were going strong, and bone density did not decrease despite the weightless environment.

“…these data mark the first significant progress in protecting bone through diet and exercise,” said NASA’s head nutritionist, Dr. Scott Smith.

At Save Our Bones, we’ve known this all along.

How to Exercise for Healthy Bones

Just what kinds of exercises were these astronauts doing? What constitutes a bone-healthy exercise?

All types of exercise have some benefit, but if you want to build strong bones, it’s important to engage in specific moves that can build bone, as the astronauts showed us.

This is why I created the Densercise eBook System, a complete exercise program to take you through a fast yet effective total bone-building workout.

Densercise for Stronger Bones

In the Densercise eBook System you’ll find simple yet powerful techniques that are specifically designed to help strengthen your bones and increase their density and flexibility.

A word on flexibility, or tensile strength – strong bones need more than just increased density. Denser bones are only beneficial if they are also flexible. Bones made dense by osteoporosis drugs may result in better bone scan scores, but the tests don’t show that the drugs have made bones harder, less flexible, and more breakable. So building your bone mineral density through diet, supplements, and exercise means you will also increase tensile strength, making your bones more resistant to fracture.

The Step-Up

Let’s look at one of the exercises in Densercise, which – as all Densercise exercises – is based on the powerful Density Training Method.

This exercise targets the hips and thighs, key areas for building bone density. Here is how you do it.

1. Stand in front of a step, such as the bottom step on a flight of stairs or a portable “step” designed for workouts.

2. Place your hands on your hips.

3. Keeping your back straight, lift your right foot and place it flat on the step.

4. Push up through your right foot, lifting yourself up so your right leg is straight.

5. Tap your left toe on the step.

6. Lower your left foot back down and place it flat on the floor.

Repeat 20 times.

Rest for 10 seconds, and switch sides.

Beginning with your left foot on the step this time, repeat the exercise for another set of 20.

Keep up this pattern of 20 repetitions per side until the 5 minutes are up.

Make sure you practice the Step-Up for at least 5 minutes a day, along with 30 minutes of exercises with light weights. If you already own the complete Densercise eBook System, you know that just 15 minutes three times a week is all you need to improve your bone density.

Out of This World Bone Density Results With Densercise

The Step-Up is just one example of the exercises presented in the 4-week Densercise eBook System, where you’ll find other targeted moves such as the Pelvic Tilt, the Wall Squat, and the Pray and Pull, all complete with illustrations and step-by-step instructions.

I’ve designed the Densercise eBook System so that you can practice the exercises you need to build your bones with minimum effort to get maximum density results because:

  • All 52 Densercise moves are illustrated and include instructions so there’s no guess work and you can clearly follow along.
  • It is a complete, full-body exercise system for your bones.
  • It clearly walks you through a complete 4 week exercise schedule.
  • Thanks to the super-targeted Densercise moves along with the Density Training Method, you only need to practice the moves for 15 minutes a day.
  • Each day has 3 moves that target different muscles and bones.
  • Every day is different so you never get bored with the same old routine.
  • The Densercise eBook features a variety of weight bearing, resistance, flexibility moves and more, making it the most complete bone exercise system to date.
  • Plus you’ll get instant access to the Densercise Online Video Collection. Each move is demonstrated on video making it even easier for you to get started.

And now, the Densercise eBook System is available at 60% off the regular price. You can get yours risk-free here →

Till next time,


1 Scott M. Smith, et al. “Benefits for bone from resistance exercise and nutrition in long-duration spaceflight: Evidence from biochemistry and densitometry.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 2012; 27 (9): 1896 DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.1647

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Herb

    My wife has already had three treatments of Reclast and has been told she should go in Prolia. She has been very hesitant because of a recent diagnosis of Avascular Necrosis in her right wrist, as well as a hip injury that she suffered a year ago while exercising. She hasn’t had an MRI yet but has been told her hip is probably bone on bone and she may be looking at hip replacement in the future. My question is, do you think, or has it been shown, that bone can still regenerate and repair itself after three treatments of Reclast or other Austio-drugs? Do you think your Densercise methods would help rebuild her bone density?

  2. Kry

    They say cats purring helps mend their bones. Would a vibrating bed or suit help? Low level ultrasound to help with bone density growth?

  3. Suzie

    I just started the Densersize program which gives you daily exercises for 4 weeks. What should I do at the end of the 4 weeks? Should I start over at week one?

  4. Elizabeth

    Hi there I have ur denexercise have been doing them every day along with the weekend challenge ones I find it difficult to do the ones lying on my back as it gives me pain can I do these on a bed or a pillow also the ones with back and forearms on a wall I cannot get forearms on wall so will it not work if i am a bit from the wall thank you Elizabeth

  5. Jeanne Rozman

    I have a CHI Machine. I lie down with feet and ankles on it and, when turned on, it vibrates my body in oscillating motions so it is great for energy flows. It was invented by a Japanese doctor and is frequently prescribed by doctors in Japan.

    I recently had a painful abdominal bout related to my lower intestine. I wonder if .i might have Celiac Disease.

    Last week I felt too weak to even do much exercising except for walking.

    Thanks for your expertise and invaluable information.


  6. Leslie (MS. L.)

    Hi! Vivian,

    Thank You VERY MUCH For This Very Interesting Article. Who Would Had Known That You Could Learn To Build Strong Bones From Astronauts?


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are most welcome, Leslie! Thanks so much for your input and kind words. 🙂

  7. cindy beresford

    Vivian do you have plans to make the Densersize in book form or
    dvd. I think the majority of your fans are waiting in anticipation. Thank you in advance.

  8. Elaine

    How many of the 52 exercises in Densexercise require one to get on their knees? I have been told by my doctor to no longer kneel unless I want knee surgery and I want to avoid that. Thanks, Elaine

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Elaine, only a couple of the Densercise exercises require you to actually get on your knees. 🙂 Still, check with your doctor or physical therapist before you begin any exercise program!

  9. LynnCS

    Hi Vivian. Wish you had a densercise book. I would buy that, but it’s too inconvenient to have it on the computer and refer to it. It looks like a lot of great information. Lynn

    • Ann Warner

      I would be interested in a densercize BOOK

  10. Anne Lees

    Vivian, I had problems downloading the Dansercise e-book and exercises. The book printed but it is jumbled and jumps from one subject to another, and makes no sense. I have until some time in February to download it and I will ask my daughter for some help. Love to read your e-mails. Thank you. Anne

    • Customer Support

      Anne, feel free to ask Customer Support for help if you need it! Just click on the smiley face emoticon at the top of the page. 🙂

  11. Sharon

    I would like to see your Densercise “book” made into a DVD, which is much easier to follow than trying to view the information on a computer screen. I find exercising from a book very difficult. Is there any chance of making a DVD?

  12. Joan

    Would bye the book @Video if it was in hard copy as i don’t have a printer.
    I feel i am missing out is there any way it could be made in hard copy Thanks Vivian.

  13. Pati

    Under the “Densercise for Stronger bones” paragraph, I’m thinking there is an error in the “but the tests don’t show that the drugs have made bones harder, less flexible, and more breakable” statement. Shouldn’t the word be DO and not DON’T?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Actually, Pati, the word “don’t” is correct! Regular bone density tests only show density; they do not show that the bone has become hard and brittle at the same time. 🙂

      • Butch

        This is a neat suaymrm. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Jilly

    Instead of using one step for 5 minutes, can I walk up a flight of stairs for 5 minutes? Will that have the same benefit?

  15. Susan Walker

    The information directly under the “Step-up” exercise posted on Jan. 24th, says to practice “Step-up” for 5 min. per day and also lift light weights 30 min. per day. This seems to conflict with the Denercise program which says only 15 minutes ( comprised of 3 exercises for 5 minutes each ) 3 times a week is all you need. There is quite a big difference! I have the Dencercise book, but this new information is puzzling. Is the reference to lifting light weights ( Jan. 24) over-and-above the Dencercise program?

    • Customer Support

      Susan, since you have the Densercise eBook System, you only need to practice the moves 3 times a week. The instructions for practicing the Step-Up daily along with light weights is for those who don’t have Densercise 🙂 Keep building your bones!

  16. Darlene

    Thanks Vivian;Could you please explain what egg shell supplements do to assist our bone building or any other product like this that may be on the market. Thanks again, Darlene.

  17. Julie M. Evans

    The Densercise book does not print out well for me. My printer prints other things out fine. The green (?) ink prints out faint, even on the “normal” setting.

  18. akujobi chukwuemeka

    Vivian, thank you for all your inspiring, informative and enlightening posts about bone health. I can’t thank you enough for being there for all of us. You are one in a million. God bless you

  19. Ita

    many thanks,Ita.

  20. Elizabeth Morrissey

    What is your opinion of the Life Fitness Elliptical machine? Do you recommend this machine for increased bone density? What machine at a fitness gym do you recommend? There are bicycles, tread mill, Rowing, and elliptical
    machines, etc. Thank you. Elizabeth

  21. Kenn

    There has been so much discussion concerning “Vitamin D” not being effective.
    Is this true? And is Vitamin D3 better?

  22. Tillie Simmons


    My concern in doing different enercises with a hip replacement and after colostomy and urostomy surgery, and being the age of 90. I am in fairly good health. Been taking Juice Plus+ for over 2 years and only visit a doctor once a year.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Tillie, that’s wonderful that you are healthy and exercising at 90! How inspiring. But you are right to be cautious – please check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program!

  23. Denise

    Vivian, what is your opinion of vibration therapy which was used by NASA as well to exercise muscles and thereby increase bone density? Based on Wolff’s Law, the bones receive positive stress through repetitive muscle contractions and as a result, bones remodel and strengthen. Seems like this would be an excellent way increase bone density in those of us who are unable to do strenuous exercise.

    Thoughts anyone?

    • Joann Hatch

      I was also wondering about these vibration therapy machines.

      • Norma

        I am interested in finding out if the FreeMotion itonic machine helps to strengthen bones. I have been doing this at least once a week for over a year, but haven’t had a density test for 2 years. Wondering if it helps. Norma

  24. Connie

    Every time I read about your Densersize eBook, I wish SO MUCH that it was available to order in hard copy. I would definitely buy it! Printer ink is SO expensive that I hate to use all mine up to print out the book, then have to pay for more ink AND the book. Are plans to create a hard copy of the book AND a DVD of the exercises still in the works?

    • Pat Lutz

      I too would really appreciate it if the Densercise book and video were in hard copy form. Are there any plans to provide this option for we computerphobia people?

    • Julie M. Evans

      Do not try to print it out in “all black” ink. There are sections that have a screened background in a color. Those sections will print out in solid black and you won’t be able to read the sections at all.

    • Customer Support

      Connie, another option is to send the Densercise link to your local office supply store or printer, such as Kinkos or Office Max. They can usually print it for a few cents a page, and may even bind it for you!

      • Connie

        Thanks. I may try that! Still would like a DVD of the exercises, though.

    • Elizabeth Morrissey

      I am interested in you recommendation for a Life Fitness machine at the gym. What machine do you recommend? There are Tread mills, Rowers, Bicycles, Ellipticals, etc. Thank you. Elizabeth

  25. Nicky Blunt

    Interesting about space exercises that apply down here..
    Scott Mumby sent message about substance from Madagascar controls blood sugar..but info didn’t come up when clicked on??
    A good exercise is walking on all fours(baboon walk style)in private of course!..

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