Some Basic Exercises to Prevent Osteoporosis

One of the best ways to strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis is regular exercise. If you have osteoporosis or osteopaenia, exercising can help maintain the bone mass you have.

When you exercise, you don’t just build muscle and endurance. You also build and maintain the amount and thickness of your bones. Weight-bearing, resistance, and flexibility exercises all work to maintain your bones.

  • For weight-bearing exercise, you can take walks, dance, or climb stairs whenever you have the chance.
  • For resistance exercise, you can perform resistance bands, dumbbells, or bodyweight exercises.
  • For flexibility exercise, you can perform regular stretching or engage in Yoga or T’ai Chi.

*Weight-bearing does not mean high impact, such as running, which may damage bones and joints. Also, certain bending and twisting movements aren’t recommended for those with osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor and work with a qualified trainer before engaging in a new exercise routine.

Here are few effective resistance exercises you can do by yourself at home:

squat_wallslideSQUATS or WALL SLIDE: Strengthens hips, thighs, and buttocks. 

  1. In front of a sturdy, armless chair, stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms out so they are parallel to the ground and lean forward a little at the hips.
  2. Making sure that your knees NEVER come forward past your toes, lower yourself in a slow, controlled motion until you reach a near-sitting position. Placing your weight more on your heels than on the balls or toes of your feet can help keep your knees from moving forward past your toes.
  3. Pause. Then slowly rise back up to a standing position. Keep your knees over your ankles and your back straight.
  4. If this is too difficult, squat instead with you back against a wall. Follow the same process.
  5. Repeat 10 times for one set. Rest for one to two minutes. Then complete a second set of 10 repetitions.

pushup_wallWALL PUSH UPS: Less challenging than a classic push-up and won’t require you to get down on the floor, but it strengthens your arms, shoulders, and chest.

  1. Find a wall that is clear of any objects. Stand a little farther than arm’s length from the wall.
  2. Facing the wall, lean your body forward and place your palms flat against the wall at about shoulder height and shoulder-width apart.
  3. Bend your elbows as you lower your upper body toward the wall in a slow, controlled motion, keeping your feet planted. Don’t round or arch your back.
  4. Pause. Then slowly push yourself back until your arms are straight.
  5. Repeat 10 times for one set. Rest for one to two minutes. Then complete a second set of 10 repetitions.

hip_abductionHIP ABDUCTION: Shapes and strengthens your hipbones, which may be especially vulnerable to fracture as you age.

  1. Stand behind a sturdy chair, with feet slightly apart and toes facing forward. Keep your legs straight. Do not lock your knees.
  2. Slowly lift your right leg out to the side. Keep your left leg straight. Do not lock your knee. Don’t lean to the side when you lift your leg.
  3. Pause. Then, slowly lower your right foot back to the ground.
  4. Repeat 10 times with the right leg and 10 times with the left leg for one set. Rest for one to two minutes. Then complete a second set of 10 repetitions with each leg.

 

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