Weight-bearing Osteoporosis exercises build bone, improve strength and stability and are essential for good health, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Here’s a simple and free exercise outline to help get you started.
Your osteoporosis exercise program is very important. It should include a minimum of about 20 minutes of weight-bearing exercise, approximately 3 4 times a week. Half an hour to 40 minutes is even better.
If you’re suffering osteoporosis and you don’t exercise, you’ll continue to lose bone mass. Doing exercises for the support of bones and joints can help with increasing flexibility, strength and coordination and a weight lifting program using just simple hand weights can significantly improve bone density. It’s not necessary to go to the gym to lift weights; you can do it in your own home using small hand weights.
And even if you don’t have osteoporosis, these exercises will improve your overall fitness, flexibility and health.
Many community centers and gyms now offer weight training programs for seniors, including special osteoporosis exercises, and these are particularly good and we’d encourage you to make enquiries.
If you’re interested in getting some weight training equipment at home, start with something simple and inexpensive.
A simple weight-training bench and a set of light dumbbells can help you exercise practically every body part. These items don’t have to be expensive, however they do need to be comfortable to use.
Here’s a sample workout program of osteoporosis exercises using this equipment that will take about 25 minutes and get you on the road to good health:
Start with the lightest weight and do 3 sets, 10 12 repetitions each, gradually increasing the weight with each set.
1. Divide the body into different parts and think’ about each part of your body as you are training focusing is very important.
2. Always begin your work-out with a very gentle warm up followed by about 5 minutes of light stretching.
3. Breathing at the beginning of the movement take a breath and exhale at the end before taking another breath you’ll find that this will become natural.
4. If you have never lifted weights, consult a professional trainer for more advice, or book an instruction session at your local gym.
5. Set aside a little time each day, just for you. For example the early mornings are quiet, the phone doesn’t ring and you may find yourself less distracted.
OK, here we go:
- Warm up:
An exercise bike (or recumbent bike) and rowing machine are ideal for warming up and working out and can be used as a workout on their own. If you decide to look into either of these, make sure you get something that is good quality.
- Chest: Lying chest flies.’
Lie on the bench on your back with your legs on the ground. Hold the dumbbells in each hand and with your palms facing towards the ceiling. Begin with your arms stretched out to the side and slightly bent, as if you’re hugging a tree! Keeping the arms in that same angle, bring them up to the centre (directly above your chest) and back down.
- Back: Bend-over rowing
Lean on the bench with one hand and with your back at a 45% angle. Pick the weight up with your other hand; bring the weight up to your chest with a rowing motion, so your elbow is high.
- Shoulders: Standing shoulder presses
Start with the weights in each hand, palms facing outwards or forwards, weights at shoulder level. Extend and push the weights upwards in one movement and then back down to the shoulders.
- Biceps: Standing or sitting bicep curls
Stand with the dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing the forwards and fully extended. Bring the weights up towards your shoulders keeping your elbows beside your body.
- Triceps: Seated triceps extensions
Hold the weights in each hand and raise them to the air, with your thumbs facing the rear and then bend your arms so the weights are lowered towards your shoulders. Keep the elbows in the same position while you lower the weight.
- Legs: Squats
Holding the dumbbells and standing with your legs shoulder-width apart, bend your knees until they’re at 45%, keeping your back straight, and then up again.
- Calves: Calf raises
Begin by standing with the dumbbells in each hand and gently rise up on your toes and back down again.
- Stomach: Abdominal crunches
Lie on the floor with your legs over the bench. Place your hands on both side of your head and raise the top half of your body off the ground towards the bench. Be careful not to strain your neck or pull your neck with your hands.
Another excellent type of exercise is yoga; I like it because I can do it when things are quiet and I’m not being disturbed. A great book, with plenty of good descriptions, pictures and exercise sequences is Yoga in Focus by Jesse Chapman. If you prefer to exercise in the comfort of your home and want to give yoga a try, then this is a fantastic book. It will help you develop confidence, help you form a training plan and give you excellent results – not only to help you with your osteoporosis exercises but also with developing strength and flexibility.
Paul Newland is a health writer, sports training consultant and martial arts instructor and manages the Global-Longevity.com website. He is the author of numerous health information books and guides, including the Wellness Report, The Ultimate Antioxidant Report, The Selenium Report, The Bird Flu Report, The Ultimate Nutrient Guide and The Essential Fatty Acid Report and The Ultimate Sports Nutrition Guide – available Free (for a limited time) through Global-Longevity.com
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