What are the best ways to exercise and improve your bone health if you have osteoporosis? Try weight training to build stronger bones. Talk to your doctor and make sure the exercise you choose is safe for you. Then try these latest trends!
1. tai chi
Tai chi — a form of slow, graceful movement — builds both coordination and strong bones. A study reported in doctor and sports medicine found that tai chi can slow bone loss in postmenopausal women. The women who practiced tai chi for 45 minutes, 5 days a week for a year had bone mineral density tests up to 3.5 times slower than those who did not practice tai chi.
A study reported in Yoga Journal found an increase in bone mineral density in the spine in women who practiced yoga regularly. From the slow, precise Iyengar style to the athletic, vigorous Ashtanga, yoga can build bone health in your hips, spine, and wrists—the bones most prone to fracture.
Standing poses like Warrior I and II work the large bones of the hips and legs, while poses like Downward Dog work the wrists, arms, and shoulders. Both the cobra and grasshopper poses that exercise the back muscles can maintain spinal health. In addition, yoga trains balance, coordination, concentration and body awareness – and thus helps to prevent falls.
3. Brisk walking
This classic workout is a great way to improve your bone health. A study of nurses found that walking 4 hours a week resulted in a 41% lower risk of hip fracture compared to walking less than 1 hour a week. Brisk walking is best, but you can adjust your pace to suit your current fitness level. Hiking is free and you can do it anywhere, anytime, even when you are on the move.
Shouldering the golf bag 18 holes and swinging those big clubs to hit the ball long adds up to a lot of upper-body work. And all that walking and chasing balls lost in the rough puts a lot of work on your hips and spine.
Maybe you have two left feet. No problem! Even if you’re not Fred Astaire, you might enjoy ballroom dancing like the waltz, tango, salsa, samba, or east coast swing. Or sign up for an adult gentle ballet or jazz dance class. Or Zumba or another dance-inspired aerobics class at your gym – anything that gets you moving. Many now combine strength training with dance or step movements – and are also good for balance.
You’ll get out into nature and engage in low-impact hikes on your next hike. The work of weight bearing—and the impact of when your feet hit the ground—can increase bone density, especially in your hips. You’ll have even more impact on these bones as you ride uphill or downhill. More stress on your feet and legs leads to higher bone density.
And there is no boredom when hiking. You can socialize in a hiking club and enjoy new landscapes.
7. Racquet Sports
Pickleball, tennis, squash, and paddle tennis can improve your bone density. Every time you hit the ball, you engage your bat arm, wrist, and shoulder, and work your hips and spine as you run around.
When you play singles you will get a lot more out of your workouts in terms of bone health as you will be running around more.
8th. weight training
Lifting weights, using the weight machines at your gym, or practicing calisthenics with a resistance band or your own body weight are forms of strength or resistance training. They work against some form of resistance to stress a range of muscles and bones. Strength training at least twice a week to stimulate bone growth.
If you’re not sure how to start, book a session with a trainer who can show you simple moves to do safely.
Take a few precautions if you already have bone loss:
One last tip: be patient. The bone building phase in young adults — the fastest — lasts three to four months, and it can take much longer if you have osteoporosis or are older. So you won’t see much change on bone density tests after your first week of training. Bones change slowly—but they change.