As you get older, it is important to begin doing exercises to help prevent osteoporosis. Sometimes people with low bone density worry that doing these exercises might lead to bone fractures but the truth is that exercising your muscles can actually help protect your bones. Here are some exercises for osteoporosis that will help keep your bones from breaking.
If you’ve already been physically active, you are much less likely to suffer from osteoporosis later in life. But if you were sedentary for most of your life, you probably shouldn’t start these exercises to fight the disease without checking with your doctor first.
Osteoporosis is a particular problem for women after menopause because that’s when bone loss begins to increase. It is very important to start an exercise program at this time. If you do, you will increase your muscle strength and improve your balance so you won’t be as likely to fall. It has also been shown that exercise will help keep your bones from weakening. In addition, exercising will help you accomplish your daily activities and tasks without pain. It will also improve posture, help relieve pain and give you a general sense of well-being.
Three Main Types of Exercises for Osteoporosis
The first type is strength training. This might include using weight machines, weights, resistance bands or water exercises. These exercises will strengthen your muscles in your upper spine and arms. They will also help slow mineral loss from your bones and gently stretch your upper back by improving your posture and strengthening the muscles between your shoulder blades. All of these exercises will help reduce stress on your bones and maintain bone density.
The second type of exercise that is good is the weight bearing aerobic ones. These are the ones you do when you are standing on your feet with your bones actually supporting your weight. They include dancing, walking, using an elliptical training machine, low-impact aerobics, gardening and stair climbing. They are all great choices.
The last type are the ones that are designed to increase flexibility. It is important to make your joints move through their entire range of motion to maintain good posture. This is critical to avoiding osteoporosis. These exercises are all forms of stretching and might include Yoga and Tai Chi. Just be sure to avoid any positions that put a lot of strain on your spinal bones. If you don’t, you will be at risk for a compression fracture.
You might think it would be a good idea to do the exercises you did when you were young but don’t give in to that temptation. Don’t try high-impact exercises such as running, jumping or jogging. These can lead to compression injuries in your spine and lower limbs. Also, don’t do exercises that require you to bend forward and twist at your waist such as sit-ups, a rowing machine and touching your toes.
Of course, if you’ve always exercised, it’s all right to continue doing it. If you’ve been warned that you are at risk for osteoporosis, now is a good time to start these exercises. You will be glad you did when you are older.