Two Osteoporosis Exercises You Should Be Focusing On
When it comes to your overall health and particularly your bones, exercise is crucial.
The top osteoporosis exercises that you should be focusing on are weight-bearing exercise. Weight bearing exercise is one of the best things you can do to increase your bone strength because of the concentrated pressure it puts on your bones.
Second, you should also focus on muscle strengthening exercises because they improve balance. When your balance is better, you fall less often and far fewer fractures occur.
Just like weight bearing exercise, muscle strengthening exercise stresses your muscles and makes them work.
If you aren’t regularly stressing your muscles, joints and bones, they begin to weaken over time.
This is exactly where the quote, “move it or lose it” applies. Because once you reach peak bone mass (which is usually around age 35) you begin to lose 1% of your total bone mineral density each year. To combat this loss, you need to use your bones and work them out.
So what is weight bearing exercise?
These exercises include activities that make you move against gravity while being upright. They include both high-impact and low-impact activities.
Examples of high-impact weight-bearing activities are running, hiking and playing soccer.
If you can’t do high-impact weight-bearing activities, try one of the lower-impact ones. For example, try walking or using an elliptical training machine.
The following are not considered weight bearing exercises: biking and swimming, so they don’t help your bones as much.
And what are muscle strengthening exercises?
These exercises include activities where you move your body, a weight or some other resistance against gravity.
Muscle-strengthening exercises include lifting weights, using elastic exercise bands, using weight machines or lifting your own body weight.
Yoga and Pilates are also fantastic muscle-strengthening exercises. However, people with osteoporosis and low bone density may need to avoid certain positions.
For example, if you’ve already had broken bones in the spine due to osteoporosis, be very careful to avoid activities that require reaching far, bending forward, rapid twisting motions, heavy lifting and any movements that increase your chance of a fall.
For a list of specific elastic band exercises, click here.
One way to combat bone loss is to include these osteoporosis exercises into your regular workout routines. In addition to exercise, your bone health also relies on your diet and supplementation to provide your bones with the nutrients needed to maintain your bone density.