Osteoporosis affects men and women of all races. However, older women who are past menopause are at the highest risk. Osteoporosis causes bones to weaken and become brittle to the point that a fall or even bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. If you have osteoporosis, you might think exercise will cause harm. When in fact, using your muscles protects your bones. It’s never too late to start exercising with some summer activities that can reduce life-altering injuries osteoporosis can cause.
Benefits of Exercise:
- Increase your muscle strength
- Improve your balance
- Decrease your risk of bone fracture
- Maintain or improve your posture
- Reduce pain
Recommended Exercises for Osteoporosis
Exercising with osteoporosis means working with your doctor to find the safest activities for your overall health and amount of bone loss. In general, the typical exercises recommended include:
- Strength training exercises:
- Includes the use of free weights, resistance bands, or your body weight to strengthen all major muscle groups, particularly those necessary for posture. It can also help maintain bone density.
- Weight-bearing aerobic activities:
- Involve doing aerobic exercise on your feet, with your bones supporting your weight. Examples include walking, dancing, low-impact aerobics, elliptical training machines, stair climbing, and gardening.
- These types of direct exercise focus on the bones in your legs, hips, and lower spine to slow mineral loss. The cardiovascular benefits they also provide boost heart and circulatory system health.
- Flexibility exercises:
- Moving your joints through their full range of motion helps you keep your muscles working well. Stretching after your muscles are warmed up is best, such as the end of your exercise session. They should be done in slow, gentle movements without bouncing.
- Stability and balance exercises:
- Stability and balance exercises help with fall prevention by teaching your muscles to work together in a way that keeps you more stable. Simple activities like standing on one leg or movement-based exercises such as tai chi can improve your balance and stability.
Click here to see more examples, pictures, and exercise how-tos.
Advancing Osteoporosis Medicine
Osteoporosis is the most common form of bone disease. It is estimated that one out of five American women over the age of 50 have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis treatments can help protect and strengthen your bones. These help slow the breakdown of bone in your body, and some can spur the growth of new bone.
In addition, potential new options are being investigated in clinical research studies. Women’s Healthcare Research is looking for women with osteoporosis to join enrolling studies looking into new possibilities. Contact our office today for study details at (858) 505-8672 or visit our website.