3 Best Exercises to Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a common condition that causes bones to become thin and porous, decreasing bone strength and leading to an increased risk of fracture. It can occur without symptoms and can strike at any age affecting both men and women. Approximately 2 million Canadians are affected by osteoporosis. 1/3 women & 1/5 men will suffer a fracture from osteoporosis during their lifetime. While several factors contribute to the development of osteoporosis, regular exercise can play a crucial role in maintaining bone health and reducing the risk of fractures. In this blog, we will explore 3 of the best types of exercises that can help prevent osteoporosis and keep your bones strong and healthy.
1) Weight-bearing Exercises: Weight-bearing exercises involve activities that make you work against gravity while staying upright. These exercises help build and maintain bone density.
Some effective weight-bearing exercises include:
- Brisk Walking: Walking is a low-impact exercise that puts stress on your bones, stimulating them to become stronger. Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking most / 5 days of the week.
- Dancing: Dancing not only offers a fun way to exercise but also provides weight-bearing benefits. Whether it’s ballroom dancing, Zumba, or any other style, it can improve balance, coordination, and bone strength.
2) Strength Training: Strength training exercises focus on increasing muscle strength and can slow the natural progression of bone deterioration. By putting stress on your bones, they stimulate and strengthen the bone tissue. It should be noted that these strengthening exercises should have an emphasis on postural muscles to prevent kyphosis (rounding of the upper back).
Here are a few strength training exercises to consider:
- Weightlifting: Use free weights or weight machines to target major muscle groups. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase as you become more comfortable.
- Resistance Band Exercises: Resistance bands provide resistance throughout the movement, strengthening muscles and bones. Incorporate exercises like bicep curls, rows, and overhead presses into your routine.
- Bodyweight Exercises: Exercises such as counter push-ups, squats, and core exercises can be effective for building strength without the need for equipment.
3) Balance and Stability Exercises:
Falls are a significant concern for individuals with osteoporosis, as they can lead to fractures. Engaging in exercises that improve balance and stability can help reduce the risk of falling. Balance exercises will also load the bones, which is important as outlined previously. Some exercises to consider include:
- Tai Chi: This gentle form of exercise promotes balance, flexibility, and strength. It involves slow, flowing movements that can improve stability and prevent falls.
- Yoga: Yoga poses that focus on balance and stability, such as tree pose, warrior pose, and chair pose, can enhance muscle strength and coordination.
Incorporating these 3 types of exercises into your routine can help prevent osteoporosis and promote overall bone health. Remember to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have existing health conditions.
If you would like to learn how to perform these exercises safely and tailor a plan specific to you feel free to contact our team kinesiologist at 306-343-7776.