Exercises for people with Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a debilitating bone disease characterized by the deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of fracture. It not only affects posture but also, living with osteoporosis can be very painful.
A nutritious diet rich in calcium and vitamin D-rich foods and regular exercise can reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later years.
Benefit of Exercise for People with Osteoporosis
- Low bone loss
- Improved muscle strength
- Conservation of bone tissue
- Increased mobility
- Better balance and coordination
- Reduced pain
- Reduced risk of fractures
- Better vitality
Always consult with your doctor, physiotherapist or health care professional before deciding on an exercise program. Exercise types that are good for people with osteoporosis include:
- Weight-bearing aerobic exercise like walking
- Resistance training using free weights such as dumbbells and barbells, elastic band resistance, body weight resistance
- Exercises to improve posture, balance, and body strength- such as Tai Chi
Your exercise regime should include something from all 3 groups.
The exact amount of exercise required for people with osteoporosis is currently unknown. However, guidelines suggest:
- Fourty-five minutes to an hour of aerobic activity twice or thrice a week
- Resistance training two or three times a week- which includes exercises to strengthen the lower limbs, trunk, and arm muscles
- Balance exercises which need to be at a level that is challenging for you and should be performed for a few minutes at least twice a week
Note: Always make sure you hold onto something in case you trip.
- Stretching exercises for flexibility
A person with osteoporosis should avoid activities that:
- Involve loaded forward flexion of the spine such as abdominal sit ups
- Increase the risk of falling
- Require sudden, forceful movements, unless introduced gradually as part of a progressive program
- Require a forceful twisting motion, such as a golf swing, unless the person is accustomed to such movements