Osteoporosis is a disease which affects the density and quality of your bones. Over time bones become more fragile increasing the risk of fracture. This can lead to Osteoporosis sufferers avoiding exercise for fear of fracturing bones.
However, staying active and engaging in weight-bearing exercises will actually improve bones. Using muscles in the correct manner can help to protect your bones. Certain types of exercises strengthen the muscles and bones and other exercises improve balance which can help to prevent falls and therefore fractures.
Leanne & Fitness Tips Say:
Before starting any form of exercise when you have Osteoporosis, check in with your doctor first. You may need some tests such as bone density measurement and a fitness assessment.
The following types of exercise are often recommended for people with Osteoporosis:
- Strength training exercises, especially those for thee lower back.
- Weight bearing aerobic activity
- Flexibility exercises
- Stability and balance exercises
With Strength Training you can use free weights, resistance bands or your own body weight to strengthen all major muscle groups, especially spinal muscles which are important for posture. If you choose to use weight machines, be sure to be guided by a professional and take care not to twist your spine.
Weight Bearing Aerobic Activity include walking, dancing, stair climbing and gardening. Read more about the benefits of walking for bone health here.
Flexibility Exercises are best to be carried out once the muscles are warmed up. Stretch at the end of your exercise and make sure the stretches are done in a slow and gentle way. Avoid stretches that require you to bend from the waist or twist your spine.
Stability and Balance Exercises are important for people with Osteoporosis as they can help to prevent falls. Simple things like balancing on one leg or slow movement exercise such as Tai Chi are recommended.