Maroochy Quays

Diving in to build muscle strength

Diving in to build muscle strength

Clutching two dumbbells, Mary Nolan dives into the Maroochy Quays swimming pool almost everyday with her aim being to build bone strength and help guard against osteoporosis.

“I’m not into doing weights in the gym so working out with dumbbells between each lap of the pool is ideal for me,’ said Mary.

She said swimming has a positive impact on bone quality and strength.

“While swimming might not be adding density to the bones, it does build muscle, and increasing muscle mass leads to bone formation.”

Mary said muscle strength also plays an important role in treating osteoporosis and preventing fractures.

In addition, due to its low impact, swimming and other aquatic exercise are excellent options for people with joint problems, the elderly, and those with disabilities.

Mary suffers with peripheral neuropathy.

“I’m losing feeling in my feet and hands progressively. Walking doesn’t work for me because it equates to pain, but I’ve always been a swimmer and the fact that you have no weight bearing in the pool means it works well.”

The keen swimmer says she swims about one kilometre each session, in addition to aqua aerobics and dumbbell exercises.

Mary, who was a nurse manager in ICU at Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane prior to retiring nine years ago, is also a member of a group that walks in the pool.

Bone health for life

There are lots of things you can do to keep your bones healthy and strong. Eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, getting plenty of exercise, and leading a healthy lifestyle all contribute in a positive way. The good news is that it is never too late to improve your bone health.

Exercise for your bone health

Vital at every age for healthy bones, exercise is important for treating and preventing osteoporosis. Not only can exercise improve your bone health, but it can also increase muscle strength, coordination, and balance, leading to better overall health.

The best bone building exercises

Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are the best for your bones. Weight-bearing exercises force you to work against gravity. They include walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, playing tennis, and dancing. Resistance exercises – such as lifting weights – can also strengthen bones. Other exercises such as swimming and cycling can help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits. Aim for at least 30 minutes of bone-building activity most days, preferably daily. For bone health tips, visit

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