02 May Exercise for Exercise for Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a significant cause of disability, especially in older women. It is a condition that weakens the bones and often results in fractures and broken bones. These injuries can impair a person’s mobility and independence. Exercise can help a person reduce the risk of these injuries from occurring.
There are certain exercises for strengthening your muscles and bones, and other types of exercises for improving your stability and balance. It is never too late to start exercising, especially for postmenopausal women who are at high risk of being affected by osteoporosis. Regular physical activity can increase muscle strength, improve your balance, reduce the risk of bone fractures from occurring, maintain and improve posture as well as reduce and relieve pain.
If you are a person diagnosed with osteoporosis, you should find the safest activities for you, based on bone density ability and structural ability. Exercise programmes and activities should be designed to suit your specific needs as a patient. Before starting any osteoporosis exercise programme, it is best to consult your doctor for advice and ensure it is safe to engage with exercise programmes.
The following exercises are generally recommended for osteoporosis patients:
- Strength training:
This includes the use of free weights, resistance bands and your own body weight to strengthen all your muscle groups, especially the spinal muscles which is important for posture. Resistance training is used to maintain bone density and needs to be tailored to your ability and tolerance. An experienced Osteopath or Physiotherapist in osteoporosis treatment can help you develop a strength-training routine.
- Weight – bearing aerobic activities:
Exercising which requires you to be on your feet with your bones supporting your weight. These activities include low – impact aerobics, using an elliptical training machine, stair climbing, dancing, walking, or even gardening. These activities directly work on the bones in your legs, hips, and lower spine to slow down the loss of bone density. These activities are also a great boost for your heart and circulatory system health.
- Flexibility exercises:
This type of exercise will keep your muscles limber and joints mobile to move through their full range of motion. Being flexible will help prevent any injuries from occurring, therefore it is best to include yoga, stretching or tai chi to your routine.
- Stability and Balance exercises:
Preventing falls is vitally important for osteoporosis patients. If you are able to stabilise yourself, you will be less likely to fall. Stability and balance exercises will train your muscle groups to work together to improve your balance. Simple activities such as tai chi or yoga which strengthen your core muscles can improve your stability and balance. Good stability in the core can positively affect movement in the hip, knee, and ankle.
Activities such as jumping, running, or jogging must be avoided, as these high – impact exercises can lead to fractures in already weakened bones. Therefore, for best results choose exercises with slow controlled movements. Exercises such as touching your toes or sit-ups, that require you to bend or twist at the waist must also be avoided. These movements can increase the risk of compression fractures to the spine.
If you are uncertain about the condition of your bone health it is best to speak to a healthcare professional specialising in osteoporosis, about exercises which are well suited for you. Book an appointment with Osteovision and we will be able to assist you.