- Posted by Christine
- On February 7, 2017
There are many things that affect your risk to osteoporosis, with the primary modifiable factors being smoking, drinking and a sedentary lifestyle.
However, the following exercises can to help prevent or limit the effects of osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Strength Training: By using resistance of some type, whether it be weights or bands we strengthen the muscle, and most importantly for osteoporosis, we strengthen the bone where the muscle attaches to. Many women, who are more at risk than men, avoid strength training when this type of exercise is crucial to building and maintain bone mass and quality. It is key to strengthen the posterior chain (or muscles through the back portion of our body) to help maintain good posture and prevent kyphosis, which can later lead to vertebral fractures for those with osteoporosis.
Weight-bearing exercises: The micro-impact that bone undergoes during weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jumping, running, also help to maintain bone integrity. A Cochrane review identified dynamic weight-bearing, high force exercise leads to the greatest improvements of bone mass.
Flexibility Exercises: By improving overall function and postural control with flexibility exercises we can ward off osteoporosis. Each of our muscles have a certain length at which they function optimally, if the muscles are shortened (tight) or too loose they may not be able to respond ideally. Properly responding muscles are essential in all of our daily movements, such as being able to quickly correct our movements to avoid falling after stepping on a pebble for example.
Balance Training: Our ability to balance ourselves comes for many different systems within the body and regular balance training helps to prevent falls.
These types of exercise can be used for prevention, or to assist those with osteopenia or osteoporosis. Those with osteopenia or osteoporosis should alter the amount of impact of their exercises.
Regardless of your state, a physiotherapist can always help coach and guide you in the type, amount and frequency of exercise that is best for you.
Move Well, Live Well.