Exercise For Osteoporosis
Regular exercise is a good way to strengthen bones and help prevent osteoporosis. Even for those with osteoporosis, certain exercise groups can help keep your level of bone mass.
Exercising doesn’t just build muscle and endurance. It also helps to build and maintain bone mass and density, this is how much bone you have and how thick it is.
There are three types of exercise needed to build healthy bones for those with osteoporosis: weight-bearing, resistance and flexibility.
Weight-bearing just means using your legs and feet to support your whole weight, so includes walking but not swimming or cycling (good for endurance but not specifically for osteoporosis).
With resistance exercises, you use another object to work with: this strengthens your muscles and builds your bones up, reducing the likelihood of them fracturing. Resistance exercises can include resistance tubing, free weights (or weight machines) and water aerobics – any kind of exercise done in water that makes your muscles push against it.
Flexibility exercises are important for osteoporosis because they can help prevent injuries.
With all of these exercises, if you have never been very active, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about an exercise program and which would be best for you. Don’t try high impact exercises, like jogging or jumping rope if you already have osteoporosis or osteopenia as they may cause fractures or injure your spine. It is better to try low impact exercises, such as walking or gardening.
It’s also important to be wary of exercise that includes bending and twisting at the waist, such as sit-ups, some particular yoga poses and rowing machines, as this can lead to fractures.
Everyone knows the benefits of an active lifestyle, yet most of us still opt out until we hear some really bad news from the doctor. If you’re dealing with a diagnosis of osteoporosis, it’s high time you made the positive connection between your condition and becoming more physically fit. Osteoporosis and exercise go exceptionally well together.
Why Your Doctor Recommends Exercise For Osteoporosis
Your bone mass and bone density actually improve with exercise, no matter what shape you’re in nor how old you are. This means building and maintaining the thickness and strength of your bones. Since osteoporosis makes your bones weaker and more brittle, and the right kind of exercise can make them stronger, the power of exercise is very beneficial with this condition. Even if you already have good bone density, you can prevent further loss of mass, strength and density, so why wouldn’t you?
Exercise To Lessen Pain
Osteoporosis can eventually lead to fractures, loss of height and a condition called kyphosis, both of which are very painful. While osteoporosis can go on for years without causing pain, the weaker and less dense your bones become, the more apt you are to succumb to the consequences with spinal compressions and other issues. Don’t allow osteoporosis to take over your bones because the pain becomes life-altering. Exercise can prevent it from continuing to such extremes, eliminating the necessity for strong medications and frequent therapy. You may find it useful to read books about osteoporosis to gain more information and motivate yourself to take the action you need to improve your condition.
Osteoporosis And Exercise For Greater Flexibility
Since this disease has the greatest impact on people over 65, conditioning and flexibility are essential to health maintenance. Even if you have not received a diagnosis regarding your bone health, exercising will keep you flexible and strong. You will be much less susceptible to the different afflictions that cause chronic pain and impair function. Particularly with a diagnosis, you’re behind the eight ball and need to take immediate action to put yourself in a more advantageous position.
Your Best Options For Exercise
Building healthier bones (at any age) begins with a smart exercise routine. Specifically for osteoporosis, doctors recommend walking over all other workouts. Walking for just four hours every week will significantly build up your bones, and it’s the easiest routine for nearly anyone. Take a brisk stroll after dinner with your spouse or a neighbor or walk smartly around the block during lunch. You may also be able to find exercise classes run locally that specifically target bone health.
Dancing, gardening and other physical activities, including housework(!) can also keep your bones healthy.
Weight-bearing exercise should be an important part of your regimen, which means the use of free weights, such as dumbbells, though you can also use water bottles (with water in them) or even canned food to start out. Weight-bearing simply means you support your own body during the activity. Weight bearing exercises can also be done by those with limited mobility or who are chair bound and there are exercise videos specifically targeted at people who cannot get out.
Since flexibility is a primary factor in your health and well-being with a diminished bone condition, Pilates and yoga are frequently prescribed, though certain poses are not recommended. Not only do they help your body become stronger and more flexible, they gently push you in directions you’d never get to on your own! Tai chi is another good form of gentle exercise which helps with bone strength and also with balance, which is very important if you have any degree of osteoporosis. Avoiding falls is one of the best ways of reducing your chance of a fracture or break and practising balance exercises can help lessen the possibility of a fall. You can get Tai chi videos to help you learn the moves and of course there are Pilates videos and Yoga videos available too if you prefer to work out at home, rather than attend a class. For those who prefer not to watch videos, there are plenty of books available to provide information on the condition, avoiding it and exercises that will help. Gaining more knowledge is always helpful, provided you put it into practice!
As weight-bearing exercise is an important part of keeping and building bone strength, swimming is NOT one of the recommended exercises. While it is a good aerobic exercise and can help improve flexibility and stamina, it does not include weight bearing, because the water supports your weight, however, water aerobics, that use the water as a resistance tool are helpful.
How Exercise Benefits Your Psychological Well-Being Too
Chronic pain, especially when combined with other effects of aging, is particularly difficult to endure on a daily basis. Exercise is a proven boost to your psyche, due to the endorphins produced, increased energy and improved mood that usually follows. All of this contributes to a higher quality of life in general. No matter what medical situation you’re dealing with, so long as you’ve got doctor’s approval for physical activity, it will benefit you in many ways. The mind-body connection is clear, and you stand to lose a lot, including possible increases in pain, if you settle for being idle.
Osteoporosis isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not a diagnosis to be taken lightly either. Do more for yourself by getting regular exercise as prescribed by your doctor. The difference in your bones is profound and the positive impact on your life amazing.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
It’s not just diet or the lack of exercise, or the lack of Vitamin D. One of the causes of osteoporosis is a condition called hyperparathyroidism, where too much hyperparathyroid (HPT) hormone is produced from some little glands in the neck, which causes calcium to leach from the bones, leading to weakened bones and too much calcium in the bloodstream. This can also lead to mental confusion and the excess phosphate from the bones can lead to kidney stones. this is VERY treatable.