Exercise and Osteoporosis: Try Gentle, Muscle-Strengthening Activities

Talk with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Movement can be a good way to help keep your muscles strong. Here’s what you need to know to make smart exercise choices with osteoporosis.

Exercise has so many benefits for your bones:

  • Exercise strengthens muscles to support your bones
  • Exercise helps you maintain strength and balance to help avoid falls and fractures

But you may wonder which fitness activities are smart for you, if you have osteoporosis or are at risk for osteoporosis.

First, take steps to guard your spine. Avoid bending or twisting, such as in toe touches and sit-ups. And avoid high-impact exercises, like running, jumping, and skipping, and some aerobics classes. That still leaves many fitness options that may be good choices.

Choosing Exercises for Osteoporosis
Check in with your health care provider to find the right fit for you. Some possibilities:

Train with your bones in mind. Exercising with hand weights, resistance bands, machines, or your own body weight keeps your muscles strong. It can also help to increase bone density.

Get in the pool. Water supports your weight, taking pressure off your bones. Water exercise may improve balance and muscle strength.

Try walking. Try walking quickly outdoors or on a treadmill at home or at the gym. Other ideas: Use a stair-stepper or elliptical trainer, or try a low-impact aerobics class or DVD at home.

Try tai chi. This ancient Chinese exercise form is gentle and low-impact. It may help with balance and flexibility.

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