Exercise recommendations for Osteoporosis

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Balancing Exercise Outdoors

In recent years it has been shown that exercise is an important part of managing osteoporosis and osteopaenia. It can help prevent a further decline in bone density.

The current recommendations are:

  • Strength or resistance training twice a week.
    • Any form of resistance can be used such as weights, resistance bands, body weight exercises or resistance training equipment.
    • The exercises should target your back, chest, shoulders arms and legs.
  • Posture exercises daily.
    • A rounded spine at the upper back also known as a ‘dowagers hump’ is very common in anyone with osteoporosis. Regular posture exercises can help prevent this.
    • Poor posture creates more force on your spine when you bend, and is more likely to cause a fracture.
  • Balance exercises daily. 
    • Low bone density means that if you fall you are far more likely to sustain a fracture.
    • These don’t have to be specific exercises you can simply add some balance challenges into your daily routine.
  • Aerobic exercise daily.
    • This will start at 10 minutes per day and gradually increase, the aim is to reach 150 minutes per week.
    • It can be any continuous, rhythmic activity that increases your heart rate.
    • It is better to do more weight-bearing aerobic exercise such as running and walking than non-weight-bearing exercise like cycling or swimming.
    • If you already have a fracture or you have quite low bone density it is best to avoid high impact aerobic exercises like running. Walking is a much safer alternative.

Safety with all your exercises is very important so make sure see a physio before you begin. Your physio will make sure you have the correct technique and teach you about precautions and modifications for that are specific to osteoporosis.

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