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Simply Fitness

osteoporosis and exercising

How Does Exercise Help Osteoporosis?

One of the proven ways to prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones is getting regular exercise. Also if you already have osteoporosis, exercise can help you to maintain your remaining bone mass. According to health experts, exercise not only builds muscle and endurance but it also helps to maintain the amount and thickness of bones (bone mass and density). There are three main recommended training regiments for osteoporosis. These are:

1. Resistance
2. Weight-bearing
3. Flexibility

Resistance Training
This type of training means that you are working against the weight of another object and therefore this helps build bones, increase their density and minimize fractures and also strengthen muscle. The exercises involved are

  • Water exercises which involves any movements in the water which ensure your muscles work harder.
  • Resistance tubing which come in a number of strengths.
  • Free weights or weight machines in the gym or at home.

For the best results, resistance exercises are best done twice to thrice a week. The exercise can therefore be made more challenging through repetitions and also gradually adding weight. Another important thing to consider is to ensure that you work out all your muscles be it stomach, legs, back, shoulders and arms while also giving each muscle group some recovery time.

Weight Bearing Training
This type of exercise means that your legs and feet support the rest of your body weight. As a result, some of these exercises fit into our day to day activities. These include stair climbing, dancing, hiking and walking. Exercises like swimming and cycling, however, do not fall into this category since you are held up by something which in this case is water and a bicycle.

Medics recommend that you walk for as little as 3-5 miles weekly for improved bone health and take about 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise at least five times a week. If you can go for up to an hour, even better!

Flexibility Training
This type of training ensures that you have flexible joints and as a result, this reduces the potential for injury. Examples of flexibility exercises include yoga, T’ai chi and just regular stretches.

Safety While Exercising For People with Osteoporosis.
Most people are concerned when it comes to safety of exercise later in life. If you have never been active and you suffer from osteoporosis, this could be a cause for concern. Therefore there are some guidelines to be noted for such cases.

1. Consult your specialist doctor before embarking on any exercise program.
2. Beware of exercises involving twisting and bending at the waist as this can put you at risk of fracture.
3. Note that weight-bearing exercises do not have to be high impact as this can cause fractures. If you are experiencing bone loss, it is advised that you stick to gentle weight-bearing exercises, low impact aerobics and other simple and moderate activities.

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