How Exercise Helps in Preventing Osteoporosis
Regular exercise is the best way to prevent osteoporosis and in strengthening the bones. In addition to preventing osteoporosis, exercise also helps patients in maintaining the bone mass that they have. Weight bearing or load bearing exercises causes the muscles and the tendons to create a pull on the bones, which in turn stimulates the cells inside the bone to create more bone mass.
This load or weight on the body can be created the body itself as in running and jogging; or by means of weight training exercises that can be performed at home or a gym. In the latter, dumbbells and weight bearing machines that are common in the gym, help in creating a high impact on the bone strength. Described here are some of the ways exercise helps in dealing with osteoporosis.
Prevents Falls and Fracture
Strong bones help in preventing fractures that result from fall. But the best way to be protected from fractures is to avoid falls in the first place. Exercise improves balance and strength that are key in preventing falls. Appropriate exercises according to the age help in preventing falls and fractures while improving balance and strength.
When you do resistance exercises, your body works against the weight of another object and this resistance helps strengthen the muscles and in building mass in the bones. Many studies have revealed that resistance exercises help in reducing the risk of fractures. However, these exercises should be performed by adding weight gradually and working on all different muscles.
Prevents Bone Loss During Dieting
Some studies suggest that the bone density is also reduced as you lose weight as part of your weight loss exercises. But, this can be prevented by doing weight-bearing exercises that in turn also help you deal with osteoporosis. This again depends on a lot of factors like age and gender as pre- and post-menopausal women are at more risk of loss of density in bones due to the hormonal changes.
Increases Overall Fitness Levels
Sedentary lifestyle, weak muscles, poor balance and poor posture all lead to increasing the risk of fractures. But a person with osteoporosis can improve health in many ways by exercising. While there is a reduction in bone loss, the remaining bone tissue too is preserved as is. There is also a better sense of balance and coordination in addition to increased reaction time, mobility, strength and fitness.
Recommended Osteoporosis Exercises
While some exercises like weight bearing and balancing exercises have been known to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, others have a very low impact. Resistance training like the ones performed by using weight-training machines and elastic band exercises are ideal to improve the posture, body strength and balance. Weekly physical activities that are a combination of different activities are ideal for people with osteoporosis.