Many people strive to build strong muscles to achieve a standard of esthetic. The main appeal of strong muscles should however be that they provide us with stability during movement which is a crucial when living with osteoporosis.
Exercise is a crucial part of everyone’s overall health and well-being. Not all exercises are however good for everyone. For individuals living with osteoporosis, a few targeted exercises are key to a health lifestyle. Studies have shown that specific types of exercise will build muscle, strengthen bones, improve balance and coordination, and improve cardiovascular system function (1,3).
Our bodies are in a constant state of equilibrium with building and breaking down muscles and bones at the same time. We have to do our part to provide our body what it needs to reach that state. Applying enough physical load on our bodies, maintaining good nutritional habits and monitoring our hormones levels are all strategies to provide powerful stimulus to our bodies. When provided with all it needs, the body will build stronger muscles and bones allowing it to keep up with the physical demands of our lifestyle.
In the opposite, when we do not stress our bodies with sufficient load, develop poor nutritional habits and have hormonal imbalances, our bodies are led to believe that we do not need these muscles and bones and, in response, they slow down production of muscle and bone mass. With enough time, our physical strength becomes weaker, and our bones become more brittle. When a bone becomes brittle enough, a simple slip or fall may lead to a fracture.
This is a very simplified overview of what happens in osteoporosis.
One of the best ways to reduce the chances of developing osteoporosis is to maintain strong bones and to remain physically active strong (1,2,3). It’s never too late to start an exercise program, even if you already have osteoporosis. A regular well-structured strengthening routine will help you build muscles and improve your balance and coordination. It may also prevent falls and fractures in the long term (1,2,3).
One of the best forms of exercise for strength and bone health is a weight-bearing exercise program, in other words, resistive training, or training against gravity. Here are our top 5 weight-bearing exercises to help individuals with osteoporosis build a strong and healthy body.
4. Balance exercises
5. Wall push-ups
NOTE: Before starting any new exercise program, it is always a good idea to check with your doctor and physiotherapist to know what is safe and best for you.
For more information on a well-structured weight-bearing program, contact our physiotherapist.
1.Clinic, C. (2021, January 21). The Best Workouts for Osteoporosis: The right exercises can protect you from future fractures. Retrieved from www.health.clevelandclinic.org: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-best-workouts-for-osteoporosis/
2. HealthLine. (2017, January 25). Living with Osteoporosis: 8 Exercises to Strengthen Your Bones. Retrieved from www.healthline.com: https://www.healthline.com/health/managing-osteoporosis/exercises-to-strengthen-your-bones
3. Research, M. F. (2021, June 5). Exercising with osteoporosis: Stay active the safe way. Retrieved from mayoclinic.org: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis/in-depth/osteoporosis/art-20044989