The Doctor says, “You have osteoporosis, you should do weight bearing exercises.” So get out there and do it! If you are like most, your response is likely to be, “Ok great, now what in the heck does do some weight bearing exercise mean?”
Should I run sprints, do sit ups, or pull downs? Swim, stretch, or do yoga? To help clarify, here are some things you should know about osteoporosis and how you can manage osteoporosis with proper exercise.
Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by compromised bone strength, predisposing one to an increased risk of fracture. Osteopenia is a lesser form of osteoporosis.
Bone health information:
Weight bearing exercises by definition are exercises that oppose gravity, but to be effective the exercises must:
The following exercises have been shown to increase bone density:
These exercises have been shown to protect from the loss of bone:
And these exercises have been shown to be ineffective with bone growth, and may result in the loss of bone:
If you have osteoporosis that targets the spine and the hips, your exercise should include spinal exercise, particularly extension or back bending type exercise. Contrarily, exercises that should be avoided are exercises which focus on flexion or forward bending, like crunches (flexion exercises have been shown to increase the risk of fracture in those with osteoporosis.)
We know it can be confusing, but the benefits of doing the right exercise can be great, and you should start exercising as soon as possible. However, before you start make sure to do your homework. Some forms of exercise may be ineffective, or even harmful if you are not careful. Exercising to fight osteoporosis should be specific, of the right intensity, and of a type proven to help build bone.