EXERCISE AND OSTEOPOROSIS

Exercise and osteoporosis prevention programs that combine weight-bearing, impact and muscle strengthening exercises have been found to be the most effective at strengthening bones. Exercise and osteoporosis prevention are natural partners because physical activity stimulates bone formation; improves muscle strength; and improves balance so there is a reduced risk of falls. Weight-bearing exercises are particularly important. The National Osteoporosis Foundation described weight-bearing exercises as those in which your bones and muscles work against gravity.

These include:

  • taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • fast-paced walking
  • Tai Chi
  • dancing classes
  • seasonal hiking
  • aerobics classes, step classes
  • light jogging
  • racquet sports like tennis

Weight-bearing exercises cause your bones to break down and rebuild themselves in a denser, stronger form. (Swimming and bicycling are not primarily weight-bearing but are more of an aerobic exercise.)


Equally important is weight training three times a week or more. Weight training has a multitude of good effects besides building bone and muscle, including improving almost all the biomarkers of aging, thus providing a tremendous anti-aging effect. Exercise physiologists state that it takes about six months of regular weight-training exercises to significantly rebuild your bone mass and strength.

If you do not have the time or money to go to a fitness center, there are many resources accessible from the comfort of your home.


I am a real fan of the Debbie Siebers Slim in 6 DVDs because they provide a full body program that builds up over a six week period. The "Start It Up" exercises last 25 minutes; the "Ramp It Up" exercises last 50 minutes; and the "Burn It Up" last 60 minutes. There is also a great "Cordio Core" series of workouts for days when you don't have time to do the regular series. I worked at my own pace and took longer than six weeks to finish the program but felt my muscle tone improve almost immediately.


Some days I still like exercising to the great music on Richard Simmons "Party Off the Pounds" DVD. And I use a 2 pound hand weight to add a bit of a challenge.


Some people also enjoy using a mini trampoline or rebounder in their exercise routine. I haven't tried one yet but they would certainly add some fun and variety to an exercise and osteoporosis treatment program.

Another muscle building tool is the OsteoBall which helps to build bone strength while adding variety to your routine. It also has the advantage of fitting into smaller living spaces.


BOOKS

There are also some great books that will help you to build your home exercise program. Some of my favourites are the following:







Want a little inspiration on the importance of exercise? Watch this fabulous video by Dr. Mike.


To learn about inexpensive supplements that will support your exercise and osteoporosis program...visit Osteoporosis Treatment Guidelines.


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