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Exercising regularly reduces the rate of bone loss and conserves bone tissue, lowering the risk of fractures. Exercise also helps reduce the risk of falling. Exercise that is too vigorous may increase the risk of fractures. See your doctor, physiotherapist or other healthcare professional for expert advice. In Australia, around half of all women and one third of men over 60 years of age have osteoporosis. Women are more likely to have osteoporosis because the hormonal changes of menopause make bone loss worse. People with existing osteoporosis can also benefit from exercise.
This is because a sedentary lifestyle little exercise encourages the loss of bone mass. Exercising regularly can reduce the rate of bone loss. Most bone fractures occur because of a fall.
You can reduce your chances of falling by exercising to build your muscle strength and improve your balance. Exercise can also slow the rate of bone loss, which reduces the risk of fractures from osteoporosis. Exercise also brings other benefits to people who have osteoporosis or want to prevent osteoporosis. These include reduced need for some medications that can contribute to the risk of falls, and better management of other health problems.
Benefits of exercise for people with osteoporosis A sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, poor balance and weak muscles increase the risk of fractures.
A person with osteoporosis can improve their health with exercise in valuable ways, including: reduction of bone loss conservation of remaining bone tissue improved physical fitness improved muscle strength improved reaction time increased mobility better sense of balance and coordination reduced risk of bone fractures caused by falls reduced pain better mood and vitality. Deciding on an exercise program for people with osteoporosis Always consult with your doctor, physiotherapist or health care professional before you decide on an exercise program.
Factors that need to be considered include: your age the severity of your osteoporosis your current medications your fitness and ability other medical conditions such as cardiovascular or pulmonary disease, arthritis, or neurological problems whether improving bone density or preventing falls is the main aim of your exercise program. A combination of weight-bearing aerobic and muscle-building resistance exercise is best, together with specific balance exercises. Recommended exercises for people with osteoporosis Exercises that are good for people with osteoporosis include: weight-bearing aerobics exercise such as dancing resistance training using free weights such as dumbbells and barbells, elastic band resistance, body-weight resistance or weight-training machines exercises to improve posture, balance and body strength, such as tai chi.
Ideally, weekly physical activity should include something from all three groups. Swimming and water exercise for people with osteoporosis Swimming and water exercise such as aqua aerobics or hydrotherapy are not weight-bearing exercises, because the buoyancy of the water counteracts the effects of gravity.
However, exercising in water can improve your cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength.
People with severe osteoporosis or kyphosis hunching of the upper back who are at high risk of bone fractures may find that swimming or water exercise is their preferred activity. Consult with your doctor or healthcare professional. Walking for people with osteoporosis Even though walking is a weight-bearing exercise, it does not greatly improve bone health, muscle strength, fitness or balance, unless it is carried out at high intensity such as at a faster pace, for long durations such as bushwalking or incorporates challenging terrain such as hills.
However, for people who are otherwise inactive, walking may be a safe way to introduce some physical activity. Exercises that people with osteoporosis should avoid A person with osteoporosis has weakened bones that are prone to fracturing. They should avoid activities that: involve loaded forward flexion of the spine such as abdominal sit-ups increase the risk of falling require sudden, forceful movement, unless introduced gradually as part of a progressive program require a forceful twisting motion, such as a golf swing, unless the person is accustomed to such movements.
The best amount of exercise for people with osteoporosis The exact amount of exercise required for people with osteoporosis is currently unknown.
Exercise for bones - Royal Osteoporosis Society
However, guidelines suggest: 45 minutes to one hour of aerobic activity two to three times per week resistance training two or three times per week— each session should include exercises to strengthen the lower limb, trunk and arm muscles, and each exercise should be performed eight to 10 times balance exercises — these need to be at a level that is challenging to your balance and should be performed for a few minutes at least twice a week.
For safety reasons, always make sure you can hold on to something if you overbalance stretching exercises to promote flexibility. You need to continue your exercises over the long term to reduce your chances of a bone fracture. Professional advice for people with osteoporosis Regular exercise is an essential part of any osteoporosis treatment program.
See your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Physiotherapists and other exercise professionals can give you expert guidance. Always start your exercise program at a low level and progress slowly. Exercise that is too vigorous too quickly may increase your risk of injury, including fractures. Also, consult your doctor or a dietitian about ways to increase the amount of calcium, vitamin D and other important nutrients in your diet.
They may advise you to use supplements. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol, which are bad for your bones. References Exercise — Consumer guide , Osteoporosis Australia. More information here. Health professional resources — Osteoporosis , Arthritis Queensland. Send us your feedback. Rate this website Your comments Questions Your details. Excellent Good Average Fair Poor. Next Submit Now Cancel. Please note that we cannot answer personal medical queries.
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Bones The adult skeleton is made up of bones, which provide the structure for our bodies Choosing the right shoe The right footwear can help keep your feet healthy, make your physical activity easier and help keep your body safe from injury Growth hormone Some athletes and bodybuilders wrongly believe that taking synthetic growth hormone will help build up their muscles Joints A joint is the part of the body where two or more bones meet to allow movement Locomotor system The skeleton and skeletal muscles work together to allow movement Muscles There are about muscles in the human body Healthy bones muscles and joints 10 tips for getting enough vitamin D A balanced UV approach is required to ensure some sun exposure for vitamin D while minimising the risk of skin cancer Ageing - muscles bones and joints Exercise can prevent age-related changes to muscles, bones and joints and can reverse these changes too Bone density testing Most procedures that measure bone density are quick and pain-free Calcium If you don't have enough calcium in your diet, your bones will eventually become weak and brittle Posture Bad habits such as slouching and inactivity cause muscle fatigue and tension that ultimately lead to poor posture Vitamin D A balanced approach to sunlight exposure will help you get enough vitamin D while protecting against skin cancer Vitamin D - maintaining levels in winter video Vitamin D is important for healthy bones, muscles and the nervous system Bone and bone marrow conditions Acromegaly Acromegaly is caused by an excess of growth hormone in adults, which causes the overgrowth of bones in the face, hands, feet and internal organs Amyloidosis A person with amyloidosis produces aggregates of insoluble protein that cannot be eliminated from the body Bone cancer Bone cancer is a rare form of cancer that is treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy Bone fractures Common sites for bone fractures include the wrist, ankle and hip Fibrous dysplasia Fibrous dysplasia causes abnormal growth or swelling of bone, but it is not a form of cancer Leukaemia Most children and many adults with acute leukaemia can expect to be cured, while chronic leukaemia can be successfully managed McCune-Albright syndrome The severity of symptoms or how a child with McCune-Albright syndrome will be affected throughout life is difficult to predict Multiple myeloma Multiple myeloma is cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis means an infection of bone which can either be recent or longstanding Paget's disease of bone Paget's disease of bone is a chronic condition that causes abnormal enlargement and weakening of bone Rib injuries Rib injuries may include bruises, torn cartilage and bone fractures Rickets Rickets is a preventable childhood bone disease caused by a lack of vitamin D Scoliosis Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curve of the spine Shin splints 'Shin splints' refers to pain felt anywhere along the shinbone from knee to ankle Treacher Collins syndrome Treacher Collins syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects growth and development of the head, causing facial defects and hearing loss Osteoporosis Menopause and osteoporosis Regular weight-bearing exercise and maintaining a diet rich in calcium from childhood will help reduce bone loss at menopause Osteoporosis A healthy, calcium-rich diet and regular physical activity throughout life can help prevent osteoporosis Osteoporosis and exercise Exercise can reduce the risk of fractures resulting from osteoporosis by both slowing the rate of bone loss, and reducing the person?
Exercise to prevent osteoporosis
Osteoporosis in children Osteoporosis in children is rare and usually caused by an underlying medical condition Osteoporosis in men Up to 30 per cent of all fractures that occur in people with osteoporosis and osteopenia, occur in men Muscle conditions Bell's palsy The majority of people with Bell's palsy, around 90 per cent, will recover completely with time Helping a child with a disability with everyday activities If you have a child with a disability you can help improve their communication and movement by encouraging them to take part in daily activities Multiple sclerosis MS Multiple sclerosis is not contagious, but it is progressive and unpredictable Muscle cramp A muscle cramp is an uncontrollable and painful spasm of a muscle Muscular dystrophy People affected by muscular dystrophy have different degrees of independence, mobility and carer needs Myasthenia gravis Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease that causes muscle weakness Polymyositis Polymyositis is hard to diagnose and may be mistaken for muscular dystrophy Spinal muscular atrophy SMA A child with spinal muscular atrophy type 1 rarely lives beyond three years of age Sprains and strains It is important to get the correct treatment for a sprain or strain as soon as possible after the injury to help you recover quickly Joint conditions Ankle sprains Ankle sprain is a common sports injuries caused by overstretching and tearing the supporting ligaments Ankylosing spondylitis Ankylosing spondylitis AS is a type of inflammatory arthritis that targets the joints of the spine Arthritis explained People can manage their arthritis using medication, physiotherapy, exercise and self management techniques Bursitis Bursitis is often caused by overuse and the inflammation will continue unless the particular activity or movement is stopped Carpal tunnel syndrome Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by repetitive hand movements, pregnancy and arthritis Developmental dysplasia of the hip DDH Around 95 per cent of babies born with developmental dysplasia of the hip can be successfully treated Elbow pain Elbow pain and can result from overuse in a range of sports or occupations Hip disorders The hip joint is complicated to allow a wide range of motion while still supporting the weight of the body Knee injuries Mild knee injuries may heal by themselves, but all injuries should be checked and diagnosed by a doctor or physiotherapist Osgood Schlatter syndrome Osgood-Schlatter syndrome is a painful knee condition that affects adolescents Perthes' disease Most children with Perthes' disease eventually recover, but it can take anywhere from two to five years Reactive arthritis Reactive arthritis is a form of arthritis that occurs as a result of some bacterial infections Hand and foot conditions Achilles tendonitis People who run regularly seem to be susceptible to Achilles tendonitis Children's feet and shoes A child learning to walk receives important sensory information from the soles of their feet, and shoes can make walking more difficult Cysts - ganglion cysts A ganglion cyst is the most common lump on the hand, and tends to target women between the ages of 20 and 40 years of age Diabetes - foot care Good foot care and regular check-ups can help people with diabetes avoid foot problems Dupuytren's contracture Dupuytren's contracture gradually causes clawing of the fingers as they are pulled towards the palm Feet - problems and treatments Correctly fitted shoes help you avoid foot and leg pain or injury Foot care - podiatrists Podiatrists can advise about how to choose the right shoes for your feet Foot odour - causes and cures Even the most fastidiously clean people can suffer from foot odour Foot orthoses People who have chronic foot or leg problems that interfere with their health may be prescribed orthoses by their podiatrist Foot problems - heel pain The heel protects the structures of the foot, but heel pain is a common foot complaint Footwear for healthy feet Wearing shoes that fit properly and support your feet is vital to avoid sore feet and to prevent or alleviate many common foot problems Weight-bearing exercises can be high-impact or low-impact.
High-impact weight-bearing exercises help build bones and keep them strong.
If you have broken a bone due to osteoporosis or are at risk of breaking a bone, you may need to avoid high-impact exercises. Low-impact weight-bearing exercises can also help keep bones strong and are a safe alternative if you cannot do high-impact exercises. Examples of low-impact weight-bearing exercises are:.
These exercises include activities where you move your body, a weight or some other resistance against gravity. They are also known as resistance exercises and include:. Yoga and Pilates can also improve strength, balance and flexibility. However, certain positions may not be safe for people with osteoporosis or those at increased risk of broken bones.
For example, exercises that have you bend forward may increase the chance of breaking a bone in the spine. A physical therapist should be able to help you learn which exercises are safe and appropriate for you.
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