If you are an older adult, you should begin doing osteoporosis exercises. Many people with low bone density worry that doing any exercise might lead to a fracture. But, the reality is that using your muscles can actually help you protect your bones. Here are some osteoporosis exercises that can help you prevent broken bones.
People who have always been physically active are less likely to have bone problems later in life. However, that doesn’t mean that people who were couch potatoes in middle age shouldn’t take up osteoporosis exercises when the condition first manifests itself.
In women, after menopause, the pace of bone loss increases. At that point, starting an exercise program is critical. It will increase your muscle strength, improve your balance and help you avoid falls — and it may keep your bones from getting weaker. Other benefits of osteoporosis exercises include increasing your ability to carry out daily tasks and activities, maintaining or improving your posture, relieving or lessening pain, and increasing your sense of well-being
There are three types of osteoporosis exercises.
The first is strength training. Strength training can include using weights, weight machines, resistance bands or doing water exercises to strengthen the muscles and bones in your arms and upper spine. Strength training may work directly on your bones to slow mineral loss as well. Osteoporosis exercises that gently stretch your upper back, strengthen the muscles between your shoulder blades and improve your posture can all help to reduce harmful stress on your bones and maintain bone density.
The next area is weight bearing aerobic exercises. These involve doing aerobic exercise on your feet, with your bones supporting your weight. Walking, dancing, low-impact aerobics, elliptical training machines, stair climbing and gardening are all examples of these kinds of osteoporosis exercises.
Finally, there are flexibility exercises. When you can move your joints through their full range of motion, it helps you maintain good balance and prevent muscle injury. Additionally, flexibility helps you maintain your posture, which is essential in avoiding osteoporosis. The best osteoporosis exercises in this category are various forms of stretching. Tai Chi and Yoga are excellent forms of exercise in this category. However, you should avoid positions may put excessive stress on the bones in your spine. These place you at greater risk of a compression fracture.
You should also avoid traditional “high school gym” kinds of exercises. These include high impact exercises such as jumping, running, or jogging which can increase compression in your spine and lower extremities and can lead to fractures in weakened bones. Also exercises in which you bend forward and twist your waist should be avoided. These include touching your toes, doing sit-ups or using a rowing machine.
If you have always exercised, keep it up. If you have just been warned you have a risk of osteoporosis, now is the time to start. There are a number of good osteoporosis exercises to get started with.