Strengthen your bones in just 1 minute flat!

You probably don't think about your bones much -- that is, until you break one.

Any fracture -- even a minor one -- can be debilitating, especially if you're on the older side. But if you break a major bone, like your hip, it could even put you into an early grave.

Even if you haven't yet been diagnosed with osteoporosis -- the bone-thinning disease that affects 1 in 4 women over age 50 -- your bones might already be brittle and fragile.

It's a vicious cycle. If you're worried about breaking a bone, you might not get around much anymore... but the less you get up and around, the more likely you are to develop osteoporosis.

But according to a new study, what you should be doing to protect your bones is the exact opposite of treating yourself like a china doll -- because you can boost your bone health and cut osteoporosis off at the pass by going for a short run.

And I mean a very short run -- one that takes just ONE MINUTE of your time.

British researchers recently measured the activity levels and bone health of over 2,500 women and found that the women who ran each day -- for just A MINUTE OR TWO -- had 4 percent better bone health than those who ran less than a minute (or not at all).

And the women who ran more than two minutes a day had 6 percent better bone health than those who ran under one minute.

Those may seem like small benefits, but remember: The women achieved those "bone boosts" in half the time it takes you to brush your teeth.

And it didn't matter whether the women in the study had already gone through "the change" -- because both reaped the benefits.

It turns out that BRIEF bursts of high-intensity activity can have a significant impact on your bones... and that impact can add up over time.

Now, the thought of running -- even for 60 seconds -- may sound like torture to you, but you don't have to become a "runner."

Start by increasing your walking activity first. Then, when you're feeling pretty sure in your stride, you can add a few running steps to the walk -- just like you were speeding up to catch the bus.

Slowly, you can work your way up to the activity levels recommended by the researchers: a medium-paced run for pre-menopausal women or a slow jog for post-menopausal women.

Regardless of which intensity you choose, it's still just a minute-long run.

And there's another reason a quick run can be good for your bones -- because stepping out into the sunshine will allow your body to convert UV rays into vitamin D (a.k.a. the "sunshine vitamin"), something that's also important in keeping your bones strong.