Exercises for osteoporosis are the best form of prevention and treatment. Many exercises can be performed by anyone, no matter what age or level of fitness they are at.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition where a person’s bones lose calcium and other minerals, which makes them fragile (breaking). According to a research study, osteoporosis and fragility fractures are an expensive human and socioeconomic burden everywhere in the world.
Is it Safe to do Exercises if you Have Osteoporosis?
Even with osteoporosis, it is never too late to begin a bone-healthy exercise program. You may be concerned that being active increases your chances of falling and breaking a bone. However, the opposite is true.
A regular, well-designed exercise program may aid in the prevention of falls and fractures. This is because exercise strengthens bones and muscles while improving balance, coordination, and flexibility. This is critical for people who have osteoporosis.
What Are the Advantages of Exercise for People Who Have Osteoporosis?
Fractures are more likely to occur when sedentism, poor posture, balance, and weak muscles are present. Numerous approaches, including exercise, can help persons with osteoporosis improve their health. Other benefits include,
- Reduction in bone loss
- Increased physical fitness since the residual bone tissue is preserved.
- Strengthened muscles
- Enhanced reaction time and increased mobility
- Improved coordination and balance
- Decreased chance of bone fractures brought on by falls
- Pain relief, increased vigor, and better mood
What Kind of Exercises Should I Do?
Before starting a new exercise regimen, speak with your doctor and physical therapist. They can advise you on what is safe for your level of exercise, overall health, and stage of osteoporosis.
There isn’t a single fitness program that works for everyone with osteoporosis. Your routine should depend on your age, the severity of your osteoporosis, and the medication you are taking right now.
Additional medical diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular or pulmonary illness, and neurological issues affect your ability and fitness.
Improving bone density or preventing falls should be the major objectives of your exercise regimen. Mix specific balance exercises with weight-bearing aerobic and muscle-building (resistance) training is preferable.
What Exercises are Recommended for Osteoporosis?
- Exercising with weights. You do them on your feet, which forces your bones and muscles to work against gravity to keep you upright. Your bones respond to weight by strengthening and building themselves. Weight-bearing exercise is classified into two types: high-impact and low-impact.
- Resistance training with dumbbells and barbells, elastic band resistance, body-weight resistance, or weight-training machines
- Tai chi and other posture, balance, and body strength exercises
What Exercises/Activities Should People with Osteoporosis Avoid?
A person who has osteoporosis has weakened bones that are prone to breaking. They should avoid engaging in activities such as:
- Forward spine flexion with weighted loads, such as abdominal sit-ups. Increases the likelihood of you falling. It needs quick, strong action unless taught gradually as part of a progressive program.
- A powerful twisting motion, like a golf swing, is necessary unless the person is accustomed to such movements.
Are There Any Recommendations for the Frequency and Duration of Exercise?
The precise amount of exercise required for people with osteoporosis is unknown. However, guidelines recommend:
- 45 to 1 hour of aerobic exercise twice or three times a week
- Each resistance training session should include exercises to develop the lower limb, trunk, and arm muscles. Resistance training should be done twice or three times a week. Eight to ten times should be given to each exercise.
- Exercises to improve your balance should be done twice a week for a few minutes at a difficult level. For safety reasons, always ensure you have something you can grip on if you overbalance something.
- Exercises that promote flexibility include stretching.
You must consistently perform your activities throughout time to lower your risk of suffering a bone fracture.
What Else Can You Do to Improve Bone Health?
Exercise is an essential component of any osteoporosis treatment plan.
Before beginning a new exercise program, consult with your doctor. Expert advice can be obtained from physiotherapists and other exerc ise professionals.
Always begin your exercise program at a low level and gradually progress.
Exercising too quickly and vigorously may increase your risk of injury, including fractures.
Also, talk to your rheumatologist or dietitian about ways to boost your calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrient intakes. They may suggest that you take supplements. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are both terrible for your bones.
Exercising for Osteoporosis is a significant part of managing your condition, and you should start working on it as soon as possible. If you have not yet begun an exercise routine, consult one of our expert Physiotherapists at Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi, who can help you get started.