Exercise does more for our body than just help us maintain a healthy weight. Besides promoting heart health, working out regularly can improve bone health and increase mobility in our joints and surrounding tissues.
A condition that affects approximately 54 million Americans, osteoporosis is a disease that lowers bones’ density, resulting in weak and brittle bones.
Osteoporosis is not a condition to ignore. Weak bones expose you to an increased risk of fractures and other types of bone breakage that put you at a higher risk of getting injured.
Fortunately, there are exercises designed for individuals with osteoporosis that can help to promote strength, flexibility, mobility, and balance, protecting them from slips and falls, as well as serious injuries.
Exercises for Individuals with Osteoporosis
While exercise is important, it is also important to know what kind of exercises are right for your body. You don’t want to engage in workouts that will cause more harm than good.
Workout routines for individuals with osteoporosis are designed according to:
- Mobility or range of motion
- Overall fitness
- Balancing skills
- Risk of fractures
- Physical activity level
- Flexibility level
- Muscle strength
The different exercises mentioned below are effective methods to help individuals with osteoporosis.
Weight Bearing Exercises
The best types of exercise for individuals with osteoporosis are the weight-bearing or strength training kinds. Workouts that force you to fight gravity and keep your muscles engaged will ultimately strengthen your bones and keep you fit.
While engaging in high impact workouts boost the benefits of exercise for osteoporosis, it is important to listen to your body and opt for low impact workouts in order to keep up with your fitness levels.
High impact workouts for strong bones include the following:
- Climbing Stairs
- Jump Rope
Low impact workouts for strong bones include the following:
- Stair climbers
Muscle Strengthening Exercises
By using different types of weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells, or even most objects around the house (if you are too lazy to get to the gym), you are working your muscles against gravity and, therefore, giving your bones a healthy dose of strength and mobility.
Muscle strengthening or resistance exercises include:
- Kettlebell swings
- Resistance or exercise bands
- Raising your feet and standing on your toes
- Machines using weights
Exercises to Promote Flexibility, Balance, and Coordination
For an individual with osteoporosis, flexibility and balance are extremely important to prevent unnecessary slips and falls.
The following exercises provide added benefits of flexibility, balance, and coordination:
- Tai Chi
Make sure to consult your doctor before engaging in these types of exercises; though they come with various benefits, not every exercise might be right for your body or your condition.
Importance of Diet
While exercise is an extremely effective way to help you improve your condition, maintaining a healthy diet is equally as important. Make sure to avoid cigarettes and alcohol and, instead, fuel your body with healthy foods that contain vitamin C and D to promote bone health.
Keep your doctor updated with any changes you make to your lifestyle and make sure to ask about different workouts that you can try to improve your condition.
The content of this Website is for is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.
Learn What Osteoporosis Is and What It’s Caused by. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nof.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis/
Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). Effective exercises for osteoporosis – Harvard Health. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/effective-exercises-for-osteoporosis
Best Exercise for Osteoporosis. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/guide/osteoporosis-exercise#1
Osteoporosis Exercise for Strong Bones. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nof.org/patients/fracturesfall-prevention/exercisesafe-movement/osteoporosis-exercise-for-strong-bones/