As we age, our bones lose density and can become brittle. The loss of bone mass can lead to osteoporosis, and is due in part to age, to hormonal changes, and to deficiency in minerals such as calcium. Osteoporosis is a common disease, and bone loss leads to a heightened risk of fractures.
Osteoporosis is especially common in women over the age of fifty, due to hormonal changes brought upon by menopause. Because it is so common, many of us may take it as just another negative effect of aging. This doesn’t have to be the case! Through diet and exercise, we can take measures to keep our bones healthy as we age.
Bone density can, in fact, be increased through regular exercise. This can be used as a preventative measure, or as a way to treat mild to moderate osteoporosis. Weight bearing exercise doesn’t only build muscle: as muscles are strengthened, so too are your bones.
The best prevention for osteoporosis is to exercise regularly, and take part in medium to high impact exercises such as:
Pairing an active lifestyle with a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is important to protect the future of your bone health. If you are unable to get enough calcium from your diet alone, there are many supplements available!
For those who already have mild, to moderate osteoporosis, you can also benefit from exercise! While high-impact exercises are not recommended, low to moderate exercise routines can help strengthen your bones. For those with osteoporosis, it’s important to work on strength, weight bearing, postural alignment, and balance.
Some exercises recommended for those with osteoporosis include:
In addition to building muscle and bone strength, those with osteoporosis also benefit from balance and alignment training. Exercises which promote balance include yoga, tai chi, and dance. Not only does balance help build strength, it aids in fall prevention.
Osteoporosis can cause curvature of the spine, so posture training can help correct this. Proper alignment and posture should always be paid attention to, no matter what kind of activity you’re engaging in.
If you have osteoporosis, and want to find an exercise routine that’s right for you, the best thing to do would be to meet with a physiotherapist. At Dynamic Physiotherapy, our experienced and regulated team of health professionals will work with you to formulate an exercise routine that is safe and effective.
Contact us today to book a consultation!