The Best Ways to Stay Active When Living with Osteoporosis

Exercise is important for good health at any age, but it is especially important for older individuals that have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.Osteoporosis is a disorder of the bones in which the bones become brittle, weak, and easily damaged or broken.  A decrease in the mineralization and strength of the bones over time causes osteoporosis. When seen under a microscope, bones that are affected by osteoporosis appear to have a honeycomb effect of degradation. A number of treatments for osteoporosis are available, and exercise is recommended as a way to increase bone mass to prevent fractures from this condition.

 

Stair Machines & Elliptical Machines

The stair machines and elliptical machines at your local gym provide a good way to strengthen both bones and muscles. A half-hour workout done several times each week can help to improve your bone strength to prevent fractures that are common with osteoporosis.

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Free Weights & Weight Machines

Lifting weights is one of the recommended exercises for individuals getting osteoporosis treatment. You can find a variety of weight machines at your local gym. You can also use the free weights. Always remember to start slow and work up to heavier weights carefully.

Walking and Hiking

Simply going for regular walks in your neighborhood on a regular basis is a great low-impact way to strengthen bones in patients with osteoporosis. For the more adventurous individuals, going hiking through your local preserve or state park can have beneficial effects on both your bones and on your mood.

Tai Chi

Tai chi is an ancient Asian exercise regime that was once used in martial arts to improve balance, flexibility and strength. It requires no special equipment and can be done by individuals of all ages. It involves a series of smooth, patterned movements that are done along with breathing exercises. Tai chi is a better exercise for these patients than yoga, which often involves twisting movements and strenuous stretches that can cause damage to affected bones.

Tennis

Tennis is another activity that is both enjoyable and good for individuals who have osteoporosis. However, you may have to shift down to a less competitive mode, because a fast game can often have rapid twisting movements and hard foot impacts that can be hazardous to fragile bones.

Dancing

Dancing involves smooth movements that strengthen muscles, improve balance, and enhance flexibility. Most individuals with osteoporosis can include dancing as part of their medical osteoporosis treatment, but you should check with your doctor about the intensity of the type of dancing you would be doing.

If you have osteoporosis, you should always check with your doctor before starting an exercise plan. Not every exercise is advisable for all individuals. Your doctor can help you determine the right exercise program for your needs. The right exercise is one that increases bone strength, but does not put undue pressure on bones that could lead to further problems.

Another blog post you may find helpful when working with the senior population is 3 Pilates Exercises to Help Seniors Improve Balance & Mobility.

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Article Categories: Personal Training , Health Tips
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