Keep Moving with Osteoporosis

We all know that brittle bones from osteoporosis. put both women and men at risk for fractures. What might not be as self-evident is that exercise is one of the best ways to strengthen bones and prevent fractures. 

Both weight-bearing exercise on your feet and resistance exercises to build muscle strength increase your bone density Denser, stronger bones are less likely to break. You also reduce your risk of falling when you improve your balance, flexibility and strength. 

Before pursuing any of the following activities, ask your doctor or physical therapist about adopting a safe and effective exercise program that suits your age, strength, ability and lifestyle. 

In addition, always practice good posture, lifting your breastbone, keeping your shoulders back, lightly pulling your shoulder blades together, and holding in your abdominal muscles. When lifting objects, bend from your hips and knees — never from your waist.

Engage in Weight-Bearing Exercise

Some examples of weight-bearing activities include: 

  • Walking
  • Climbing stairs (always use a handrail to prevent falls)
  • Dancing
  • Playing tennis
  • Hiking
  • Gardening

Don’t Neglect Strength and Flexibility

Keep Moving small

Work on your strength and flexibility with these activities:

  • Free weights and weight machines
  • Swimming
  • Bicycling
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Gentle stretching
  • Pilates
Both weight-bearing exercise on your feet and resistance exercises to build muscle strength increase your bone density.

Avoid Strenuous Twisting or High-Impact Sports

Although many forms of exercise are good for people with osteoporosis, there are some you’d be wise to avoid because of the force they place on your bones or the risk of falling.

If you have osteoporosis, do not:

  • Ski
  • Skate
  • Jump rope
  • Jog
  • Golf (twisting action is hard on your spine)
  • Move too quickly, twist your spine or bend forward at the waist to do toe touches or sit-ups
  • Wear slippery-soled shoes that may cause you to fall
  • Slouch when standing, walking or sitting at a desk
Small Steps: Take a walk today.
Look for ways to get moving. Park farther from a store. Take the stairs. Go outside for your lunch break. Walk to your errand instead of driving.