Osteoporosis Fitness Tips to Improve Posture and Strength Exercises

If you have osteoporosis, one of the most important osteoporosis fitness tips is to get regular weight bearing, resistance and flexibility exercise.  We know exercise is important for our circulation and our muscles, but why are these such vital osteoporosis fitness tips? It has to due with bones density and bone mass. You may have heard your doctor mention these terms. Following osteoporosis fitness tips and exercises contributes to and helps maintain the amount of bone material in your body and its thickness. This is referred to as bone "mass and density."

Three basic types of osteoporosis fitness tips and exercises are recommended for osteoporosis. All three types are required to help build and maintain healthy bones. They are:

  • Flexibility exercises
  • Resistance exercises
  • Weight-bearing exercises 

Osteoporosis Fitness Tips: Flexibility Exercises 

Flexibility of the joints is vital for people who have osteoporosis. Being flexible counts as one of the osteoporosis fitness tips because it helps to prevent injury and pain. There are easy ways to improve flexibility including:

  • Regular stretching routines
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
These forms of exercise are also very relaxing and are excellent ways to relieve muscle tension when you practice them as a regular part of your osteoporosis fitness tips routine.

Osteoporosis Fitness Tips: Resistance Exercises 

Resistance exercises count towards helping to build bone and they also strengthen muscles. Research has shown that applying this essential osteoporosis fitness tip decreases the risk of fractures and increases bone density. These exercises are performed by working against the resistance offered by another object. Some examples of resistance exercise include:   

  • Weight lifting: using weight machines or working with free weights 
  • Elastic bands: these come in a different weights, offering varying amounts of resistance 
  • Water exercise: any activity done in water provides resistance and forces your muscles to work harder

In order to achieve the best results when doing resistance exercises, keep the following osteoporosis fitness tips in mind: 

  • Resistance exercises should be done 2 or 3 times each week
  • Gradually make your routine more challenging by adding more weight or increasing the number of repetitions
  • Be sure to work all the different groups of muscles. This includes your back, abdomen, leg, shoulder, chest and arm muscles.
  • Each muscle group needs at least one day to recover. Do not perform resistance exercises on the same muscle group on 2 consecutive days. 

Osteoporosis Fitness Tips: Weight-bearing Exercises 

Your legs and feet support the weight of your body during weight-bearing exercise. Examples of weight-bearing activities for osteoporosis include:

  • Stair climbing
  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Hiking

For overall health, most health experts usually recommend moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes, five times weekly as one of the best osteoporosis fitness tips. Swimming and riding a bicycle are great for your lungs and heart, but they are don't provide the weight-bearing component that's needed for osteoporosis. During these activities, your legs and feet are not supporting your body weight, so biking and swimming are not included in the osteoporosis fitness tips.

Osteoporosis Fitness Tips: Exercise Safely

If you already have a diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis, you may be worried about exercising and the possibility of fractures. Maybe you have not been active for awhile and are concerned about muscle strains or other injuries. There are ways to stay safe while exercising. Remember the following osteoporosis fitness tips to help ensure  your safety:

-       Be sure to ask your health care provider before starting any new exercise program. The is one of the most essential osteoporosis fitness tips to follow, especially if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia. 

-       Do your best to avoid high-impact activities such as jumping, jogging and running. These might cause weakened bones to break. Choose low-impact weight-bearing exercises like dancing, walking or low-impact aerobics, this is an especially important osteoporosis fitness tip if you know you have bone loss. 

-      If you have bone loss, avoid twisting and bending, especially twisting and bending from your waist because this increases your risk of fractures. Activities that involve this kind of twisting and bending include using a rowing machine, doing toe touches and sit ups. Some forms of yoga, bowling, golf and tennis also can include potentially harmful twisting motions. Before choosing these activities, a vitally important osteoporosis fitness tip is to speak with your doctor.  

Osteoporosis Fitness Tips: Examples of exercises

The osteoporosis fitness tips and exercises below help  promote balance and flexibility, strength and movement as well as good posture. They are especially helpful for people who have osteoporosis. Be sure to check with your health care provider before beginning any new exercise routine if you have low bone density, have a diagnosis of osteoporosis, osteopenia or have had a recent fracture (broken  bone). Avoid osteoporosis fitness tips and activities that require twisting or bending from the waist. 

Some muscle soreness is to be expected when you first begin exercising, but if soreness persists for more than two days, notify your doctor. None of the osteoporosis fitness tips or exercises should cause pain while you are performing them. Never try to "work through the pain."  The osteoporosis fitness tips and exercises that follow are designed to complement weight-being exercises, not replace them. 

Some of the osteoporosis fitness tips and exercises are to be completed lying on the floor. For comfort, it's best to lie on a carpeted floor or on a mat or thick blanket. You may do the exercises on a firm bed if you have problems getting up and down off the floor. 

There are four sections of osteoporosis fitness tips and exercises:

  1. Posture: These help improve spinal alignment and decrease rounding of the shoulders. They can help reduce the risk of spinal fractures
  2. Strengthening: These help improve muscle strength in the hips and back
  3. Balance: These help improve your balance, strengthen the muscles in your legs and decrease your risk of falls
  4. Functional: These help improve movement and the performance of the tasks of daily life

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