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How to Exercise If You Have Osteoporosis

By Erik Gans, 9:00 am on

After the age of 35, bone mass naturally declines, especially in women postmenopause. If you’ve already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, a condition that can further weaken bones, one way to minimize the risk of sustaining a fracture is to keep the muscles that support your bones as healthy and strong as possible with regular exercise.

Choose the Right Exercises

Westport elder care professionals suggest staying away from any exercise that’s going to place too much pressure on your bones and joints. Types of exercise often recommended for seniors with osteoporosis include:

  • Strength training
  • Weight-bearing aerobic activities
  • Balance and stability exercises
  • Flexibility exercises

Watch Your Posture

Avoid twisting your spine if you use weight machines. Some resistance exercises like wall sits, squats, and stair climbing require good posture to ensure the right muscles are targeted.

Focus on Areas Most Likely to Be Affected by Osteoporosis

From using elliptical training machines to gardening, aerobic exercise can take many forms. Include activities like walking and low-impact aerobics that involve some degree of movement in the legs, hips, and lower spine since these areas tend to be places where fractures can occur.

Warm Up First

With flexibility and stretching exercises, you’ll be increasing your range of motion. Avoid injury by doing slow, gentle warm-ups for about ten minutes and cool-downs for another 5-10 minutes.

Consider Water-Based Exercise

If you’ve been told to avoid excessive pressure on your bones, water-based exercises like water aerobics can provide similar benefits. Foam noodles, kickboards, and other support devices can further ease stress on bones. Water offers 12-times the resistance of air, so you’ll still be improving muscle strength.

Osteoporosis is unique in that there are no signs of the condition until a fracture occurs. Risk factors can include a family history of osteoporosis, insufficient vitamin D absorption, and a lack of exercise. Before starting any preventative exercise routine, check with your doctor.

Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of Alzheimer’s and dementia care Westport families trust and also offers live-in and part-time care for seniors who need support with activities of daily living. Our caregivers are expertly trained, have excellent references, and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support. Call 203-955-1915 today to schedule an in-person consultation.