Exercise has always been the key to maintaining a healthy weight and healthy bones. Regular exercise as a child or young adult may have helped maximize your bone production, most of which occurs by age 35. The more you continue to exercise in middle and old age, the more you reduce the risk of developing the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis.
Types of Exercise
People with osteoporosis think that exercise will cause bone breakage, however an exercise regimen created by a professional trainer could possibly help you prevent falls, and fall-related fractures. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends a weight-bearing exercise like walking, which forces the body to work against gravity while staying upright. Weight lifting, a muscle-strengthening exercise, is another great exercise for osteoporosis. Whether standing, sitting or in the prone position, it makes the body work against gravity. Weight-bearing and strength training exercise are known to build and maintain bone density, and they’re safe and effective.
Before you begin an exercise regimen be sure to discuss it with your doctor. You may be required to undergo a thorough physical to help determine which exercises are safe for you. There’s not one exercise regimen that will work best for everyone with osteoporosis. Each person’s regimen should be specifically tailored based on results from a medical evaluation including: fracture risk, muscle strength, range of motion, fitness, gait, balance and level of physical activity. If a medical evaluation shows that high impact weight-bearing exercises are not for you, he or she may recommend low-impact weight-bearing exercises instead. They include elliptical machines, low-impact aerobics, stair-step machines and walking (outside or on a treadmill), and are less likely to cause fractures, while building bone density. If you have never exercised then you want to gradually increase your exercise level to 30 minutes per day, 3-5 days a week.
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