One of the questions that we are frequently asked is,, “What are the best exercises for osteoporosis?”. Before we answer this question, please check with your medical practitioner or health care provider regarding which exercises you can perform safely if you have osteoporosis and which you should avoid. Also, take the recommended precautions and modify programs, workouts, or specific exercises, accordingly.
The Sit and Be Fit television series is devoted to helping others, especially those managing conditions like osteoporosis – via exercises that can be easily integrated into any lifestyle. Our goal is to help you improve your overall health.
Exercising to Prevent or Reduce the Impact of Osteoporosis
General Exercises for Osteoporosis
Walking is a low-impact, weight-bearing, exercise suitable for those managing or at risk of osteoporosis. If you can walk, do so – even if it is on the spot in your own home. If you are unable to walk, stand up as often as possible to allow the legs to carry your weight. This activity is beneficial to bone activity.
Exercising to strengthen the legs and improve overall health can help reduce bone loss, create better balance, and reduce fall risk. When performed in a weight-bearing position, leg strengthening exercises for osteoporosis do double duty to build bone health.
Postural exercises are crucial for osteoporosis. They help maintain proper body alignment. Good posture decreases pressure on the spine, thereby decreasing the risk of vertebral fracture and improving balance to reduce fall risk. Furthermore, exercising to improve balance reduces the risk of falls which is important because falls increase the risk of bone fractures for those diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Specific Exercises for Osteoporosis
STAND UP—SIT DOWN EXERCISE
Before every meal, rise from a sitting position in a chair and then sit back down gently. Repeat the exercise 5 times. Sitting down slowly and gently is critical for osteoporosis to prevent injury when landing hard – even in a soft chair.
Directions for Stand Up – Sit Down Exercises
1. Scoot forward toward the front of your chair.
2. Pull your feet back underneath your chair. They should be about hip-width apart.
3. Lean forward slightly at the hip. Keep your head up. Notice the weight on your heels.
4. Use your legs to push up to the standing position. (Help with your arms as necessary.)
5. Reverse the process to sit back down gently into your chair. (Control the descent into your chair. Use your arms as needed. A hard landing could contribute to a vertebral fracture.)
Arm Position for Stand Up – Sit Down Exercises
- Beginning arm position: Place your hands on the armrests of your chair to help come to a standing position.
- Intermediate arm position: Place your hands on your thighs.
- Advanced arm position: Fold your arms across your chest.
Side Lunge Osteoporosis Exercise
Stand behind a sturdy chair or at your kitchen sink, using the support as much as you need to for balance. Begin with your feet together, toes pointed forward.
Directions for the Side Lunge Exercise
1. Check your posture. Is your seat tucked under? Are your lower ribs lifted away from your pelvis? Are your shoulders pulled back slightly? Is your head pulled back so that it is over your shoulders?
2. Take a large step* to the side with your right foot. Be sure the toes of both feet are still pointing forward. Standing in this straddle position, recheck your posture, using the four points listed above.
3. Slowly bend your right knee slightly–straighten–bend–straighten–bend.
4. Straighten the knee a third time, but this time, push with your right foot, and bring it back next to your left foot.
5. Repeat the exercise taking a large step* to the side with your left foot.
*As your legs get stronger, take a larger step. Don’t overdo– stay within your comfort range.
Rib Lift Exercises
Begin sitting or standing with good posture. Lengthen the spine and try to get as much distance as possible between the base of the ribs and the hips.
Directions for the Rib Lift Exercise
1. Lace your fingers behind your head and gently pull your elbows back.
2. Take a deep breath, gently lifting the ribcage away from the pelvis and squeezing the shoulder blades toward each other.
3. As you breathe out, reach toward the ceiling with one arm then the other.
4. Gradually bring the arms down in a big arc. Reach out to each side as if to touch the walls on each side of the room.
5. Bring your arms down along your sides, and press the palms back, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Other Blogs Related to Exercising and Osteoporosis:
Which Sit and Be Fit Workouts include the best exercises for osteoporosis?
If you have a diagnosis of osteoporosis, but no spinal deformity, almost any of the Sit and Be Fit workouts are safe as long as you are aware not to forward flex the trunk or lift the knee vigorously toward the chest.
Here are some specific Sit and Be Fit workouts that include exercises appropriate for those managing osteoporosis:
• Sit and Be Fit Osteoporosis Workout: VHS
• Sit and Be Fit Chair Exercise Basics: DVD
• Sit and Be Fit Season 8: VHS
• Sit and Be Fit Season 9: DVD
• Sit and Be Fit Season 10: DVD
• Sit and Be Fit Season 11: DVD
• Sit and Be Fit Season 12: DVD
• Sit and Be Fit Season 13: DVD
• Sit and Be Fit Season 14: DVD