exercises for osteoporosis
Searching for some exercises for osteoporosis? Look no further! Before we move on to the exercises, let’s look at a few quick safety tips.
Osteoporosis is a gradual decline in the quality of bones. So a good exercise regime for the condition should include different types of weight-bearing exercises that focus on re-building lost bone.
- Your main exercise goal with osteoporosis should be to prevent further damage to the bones by improving bone strength, stability, and balance.
- Always start slowly, especially in exercises where you have to bend down, lift weights or twist your body.
- If you are at a higher risk of broken bones, consult a good physiotherapist before any exercise.
Walking may sound like a very basic form of exercise and is generally underrated. Yet, it is still one of the safest exercises around. You can very well start with walking if you are a beginner. Walking for 30 minutes every day on a regular basis can work wonders for your bones.
Things to consider:
- Invest in a good pair of shoes. Get some well-cushioned shoes with the right arch support.
- Avoid brisk walking (at least initially.)
- Tai chi or ‘moving meditation’ is a great overall mind-body exercise. It is based on the Chinese principles of balance and energy. It works not just on the physical level but on a psychological level too.
- It is great for people with osteoporosis to improve dynamic body balance and muscle strength.
- To learn tai chi, consider a tai chi practitioner in your area. Do a local search to find out a good practitioner based on popular reviews. Alternatively, you can get your hands on a good YouTube video to begin with.
Table tennis works well for people with osteoporosis as it is not too physically demanding. At the same time, it is a good weight-bearing exercise too.
A few do’s:
- Try doubles as an option to begin with.
- Usually, good walking shoes are adequate for beginners, but you can try out sport-specific gear too.
- Be careful though. Racquet sports can tend to push you hard to win each point and each game. But if you have osteoporosis, you will have to be careful about sudden movements and/or falls.
Light Weight training
Light Weight training
- Exercise with free weights
Go for weight repetitions with simple postures that involve keeping your feet slightly apart and knees slightly bent. Choose exercises you will enjoy.
Standing or sitting exercises with bands increase the overall muscle strength of body. A big plus is that these bands can be used anywhere, including both at work and home.
Try regular weight lifting at the gym with low weight repetitions.
Another great way to exercise is by using the body’s natural weight. Squats, lunges, and wall-sits are some examples of body weight exercises.
- Very few people who have osteoporosis think dancing can be a great exercise. But it sure is!
- It is a great way to use the body’s natural weight and dynamics to build bone strength. Regular practice can certainly restore lost bone strength.
- You can try different forms of dancing before you find one that interests you. Zumba, salsa and tango are some examples of dance forms that can work for osteoporosis. But be careful to not go overboard too soon!
- If you have osteoporosis and you are not a great exercise fanatic, never mind — just try to maintain an active lifestyle in your day to day life.
- Simple lifestyle changes like climbing the stairs instead of using the elevator can do the trick. Similarly, walking to a nearby grocery store instead of taking a car can help in maintaining bone health.
- The only thing you need to watch out for? Avoid stair-climbing if you have arthritis problems, especially at the knees and hip.
If you are a nature buff, love hiking but osteoporosis is holding you back, then think again.
Little do we know that hiking can actually be a great way of strengthening weak bones!
- Hiking not only brings back lost bone strength but also maintains it for long term use.
- Start off with low intensity hiking initially and gradually raise the bar.
- Invest in a good hiking gear, especially shoes that can ward off the pressure of the terrain well.