Osteoporosis Exercise Exercises

It’s never too late to start adding osteoporosis exercises into a daily routine. Even late in life, certain exercises can help prevent osteoporosis, and can also help prevent the spinal problems and broken bones that people who already have osteoporosis are susceptible to.

Benefits of Osteoporosis Exercises

Even women who have already gone through menopause can benefit from osteoporosis exercises. Besides aiding in osteoporosis prevention and increasing bone and joint health, doing these exercises regularly can:

  • help to maintain or increase proper posture
  • increase energy level, sense of well-being and self-esteem
  • increase muscle tone
  • make daily activities, errands and tasks easier
  • relieve or decrease everyday pains.

Types of Osteoporosis Exercise

Depending on age and fitness level, effective osteoporosis exercises will vary. The most important thing for people to realize is that adding exercises and activities that they enjoy to their daily routines will be the most beneficial. Enjoyable exercise and workout routines are less likely to be abandoned after only a few weeks, and will not seem as taxing.

Consulting a medical professional before starting an exercise plan is recommended, as doctors and physical therapists can recommend specific exercises and offer guidelines and advice for each person’s specific needs.

The three most effective exercise types for preventing osteoporosis are:

  • flexibility exercises
  • strength training
  • weight-bearing aerobic exercises.

Flexibility Exercises

Flexibility exercises work to increase mobility by making joints move more easily. These exercises help to prevent muscle injury and increase posture. Stiff joints tend to make people stoop and have difficulty moving, so flexibility exercises can be extremely helpful.

Stretching is best done at the end of an exercise routine, and should be done gradually and slowly. Bouncing should be avoided, as should bending at the waist or doing stretches that put pressure on the spine. Relaxation and deep breathing aid flexibility exercises.

Strength Training

Weights, exercise bands and water exercise can all work to increase muscle and bone strength, which will in turn help to slow down bone mineral loss. Strength training also helps to prevent compression fractures.

Weight-Bearing Aerobic Exercises

These types of exercises also work to slow bone mineral loss, and can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease as well.

Popular osteoporosis exercises and activities include:

  • dancing
  • gardening
  • golfing
  • low-impact aerobics
  • walking, and possibly jogging
  • water exercises or water aerobics.

Exercises and Movement Types to Avoid

While exercise is encouraged and can help aid osteoporosis prevention, certain types of exercise and movements are not recommended for those at risk for osteoporosis. Some movements can be too high-impact and can be damaging to bones and joints.

Running and jumping can put too much stress on joints and bones, so these activities should not be attempted without a doctor’s permission. They can also lead to compression and bone fractures.

Any activity that requires rapid, jerky movements is generally not recommended. The best osteoporosis prevention exercises use slow and gradual movements that flow smoothly.

Excessive bending or twisting of the waist is also not recommended. Sit-ups, tennis and rowing machines can cause compression.

Talk to a medical professional with any questions or concerns on bone health and osteoporosis exercises, as doctors and physical therapists will be able to evaluate a particular person’s condition, risk and other factors to recommend the best osteoporosis prevention exercise plan.

Resources

American Physical Therapy Association (2007). For the Young at Heart. Retrieved June 28, 2007, from the American Physical Therapy Association Web site: http://www.apta.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Search