Osteopenia is a condition in which bone mineral density is lower than normal. It is important to keep this level from dropping further, so that you don’t end up with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis occurs when your bone density becomes very low.
Exercise can be helpful in keeping your bones strong and preventing osteopenia from advancing. Exercise is essential to treat or even reverse the negative effects of osteopenia or osteoporosis. What kind of exercise is best? What kind of exercise should you avoid? Read on to learn the best osteopenia and osteoporosis exercises for strong bones.
Do these exercises if you have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis
For people who have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, there are two types of exercise that are important for building and maintaining bone density: Weight-bearing exercises and muscle-strengthening exercises.
- Weight bearing exercises. Weight-bearing exercises for osteoporosis and osteopenia include walking, swimming, using elliptical machines or stair machines, and low-impact aerobics.
- Muscle strengthening exercises. Muscle-strengthening exercises for osteoporosis and osteopenia include lifting weights, functional training, body weight strength, or balance exercises. You want to pay special attention to strengthen the abdominal muscles to stabilize the back because osteoporosis commonly results in compression fractures in the spinal column; just make sure that the back is always properly supported while performing abdominal exercises.
AVOID these exercises if you have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis
It is extremely important for people who already have a diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis to avoid certain positions or exercise routines, particularly yoga postures. Because the bones are frail, you need to be very cautious to prevent fractures. Crazy enough, if you have very low bone density, sometimes a fracture can occur with something as simple as sneezing or a deep cough.
If you have low bone mass and are thinking about beginning a new exercise routine, you should avoid the following activities:
- Exercises that require you to bend forward from the waist, such as standing-forward bend, head-to-knee pose and seated-forward bend (sit-ups). These movements can cause fractures in the spine bones (vertebrae).
- Activities that involve rounding or hunching of the back.
- Twisting your spine to a point of strain, especially when in a standing or seated position.
- Sudden jerking or rapid movements.
- Poses that bear weight directly on the neck, such as headstand and shoulder-stand positions.
Keep this in mind
Exercise is not going to magically improve osteopenia or osteoporosis overnight. An article in the “American Family Physician” points out that it will take more than a year to see any results of exercise on osteopenia. Keep in mind that the longer you keep up an exercise program, the better the effect will be on your bone strength. It may take years before you see a positive change in your bone density, and sometimes exercise alone is not enough. Your doctor may also recommend other lifestyle habits to support you.
If your goal is to strengthen your bones and head off the debilitating effects of osteopenia or osteoporosis, exercise is truly an essential ingredient. However, while exercise is good for promoting bone strength when you have osteopenia, its essential that you are careful not to overdo it. Too much exercise is not a good thing for anyone. To safely get started, work with a coach who can help you customize a fitness program tailored to your body’s unique needs. They can help you make sure that both weight-bearing exercises and muscle-strengthening exercises are part of your routine . Most importantly they will help you perform the exercises safely with good form and ensure that the exercise routine you do is something your body can handle.
Are you looking to get started with osteopenia and osteoporosis exercises to boost your bone health?
I filmed a youtube video to lead you through some of the best osteopenia and osteoporosis exercises. Doing this routine on a regular basis will strengthen your whole body and help you prevent further bone loss. This Osteopenia and Osteoporosis exercise video is a good resource, however please remember it does not supplement for medical advice. Always check with your doctor before starting this or any exercise routine. If you’re uncertain if you can perform an activity safely, talk with a doctor or a coach to help you learn which exercises are safe and appropriate for you. You can work with a health coach who specializes in exercise for osteopenia and osteoporosis and have them customize a program perfect for your individual health goals.
Osteopenia and Osteoporosis Exercises. Full routine to strengthen your hips, core, and spine.
Great job with those Osteoporosis and Osteopenia exercises. How do you feel? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Keep moving mindfully and USE your body well! I want to see you get stronger. If you are looking for a full program to reverse Osteopenia + Osteoporosis, CONTACT me here or schedule a session to get started. Don’t wait – your bones love you for it!
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