What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones, causing them to become weak and fragile. It is a common condition, particularly among older people, and can increase the risk of fractures and other bone injuries. While there are many treatments available for osteoporosis, one of the most effective ways to manage the condition is through exercise.
Benefits of exercise
Exercise has been shown to have many benefits for people with osteoporosis. In this article, we will explore these benefits in more detail, as well as the types of exercise that are best suited to those with osteoporosis.
- Strengthening Bones
Regular exercise can help to strengthen bones, which is particularly important for people with osteoporosis. When you exercise, your muscles pull on your bones, which helps to stimulate the production of new bone tissue. This can help to slow down the rate at which bone is lost and can even help to increase bone density.
- Improved Balance and Coordination
People with osteoporosis are at an increased risk of falls and fractures, which can be very dangerous. Exercise can help to improve balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls and injuries. By strengthening the muscles in your legs and improving your balance, you can improve your overall stability and reduce your risk of falls.
- Reduced Risk of Fractures
Exercise can help to reduce the risk of fractures in people with osteoporosis. By strengthening your bones and improving your balance, you can reduce the likelihood of falls and other accidents that can lead to bone fractures.
- Increased Muscle Strength
Exercise can also help to increase muscle strength, which is important for people with osteoporosis. Strong muscles can help to support your bones and reduce the strain on your joints. This can help to reduce the risk of fractures and other bone injuries.
Types of Exercise for Osteoporosis
- Weight-Bearing Exercises
Weight-bearing exercises are those that involve bearing your own body weight, such as walking and aerobics. These exercises are particularly effective for strengthening bones and improving balance and coordination.
- Resistance Training
Resistance training involves using weights or resistance bands to build muscle strength. This type of exercise is particularly effective for people with osteoporosis, as it can help to strengthen the muscles that support the bones and reduce the strain on the joints.
- Flexibility Exercises
Flexibility exercises, such as yoga and stretching, can also be beneficial for people with osteoporosis. These exercises can help to improve balance and coordination, as well as reduce stiffness and pain in the joints.
In conclusion, exercise is an important part of managing osteoporosis. By strengthening your bones, improving your balance and coordination, and reducing the risk of fractures, exercise can help you to maintain your mobility and independence. If you have osteoporosis, it is important to speak to your doctor before starting any new exercise programme. They can advise you on the best types of exercise for your condition and help you to develop a safe and effective exercise plan.
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American College of Sports Medicine. (2013). Exercise and Osteoporosis: A Position Statement from the American College of Sports Medicine. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
- Giangregorio, L. M., & Papaioannou, A. (2016). Exercise for Osteoporosis: How to Navigate Between Overload and Adaptation. Osteoporosis International
- Kemmler, W., von Stengel, S., & Kohl, M. (2016). Exercise Frequency, Protein Intake and Bone Health. Sports Medicine