Healthy Aging Tips from Sit and Be Fit's Mary Ann Wilson RN
Sit and Be Fit TV host, Mary Ann Wilson RN

If you are managing osteoporosis, here are some great exercises from the Sit and Be Fit television series to incorporate into your daily life. Always check with your doctor before you begin a new exercise program.

Here are some general exercise tips to help with osteoporosis.
• Walking is a great weight-bearing exercise for people with, or at risk for, osteoporosis. It helps slow bone loss. If you can walk, do so—even if it’s just inside your home. For people who cannot walk, just standing up and bearing weight through the legs for a few minutes several times a day is a bone benefiting activity.
• Leg strengthening exercises slow bone loss, improve balance, and decrease the risk of falls. When done in a weight-bearing position, they do double duty to build bone.
• Postural exercises are important for those managing osteoporosis because they help keep our bodies in proper alignment. Good posture decreases pressure on the bones of the spine, reducing vertebral fracture risk. Proper body alignment contributes to overall balance, reducing fall risk.
• Exercises that challenge balance skills improve balance, reducing the chance of falls. Preventing falls is an important way for people with osteoporosis to prevent fracture.

Before each meal, stand up from your chair and sit back down gently 5 times. Be sure to land gently—a hard landing, even on a soft chair, can cause injury.
Easiest: Place your hands on the armrests of your chair to help come to a standing position.
Next easiest: Place your hands on your thighs.
Hardest: Fold your arms across your chest.
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.)

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.
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.

Begin sitting or standing with good posture.
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.

Which Sit and Be Fit Workouts are best for those managing osteoporosis?
If someone has a diagnosis of osteoporosis, but no spinal deformity, almost any of the Sit and Be Fit workouts are safe as long as the person is 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 we recommend:
• Sit and Be Fit Osteoporosis Workout:  VHS
• Sit and Be Fit Chair Exercise Basics: DVD
• Sit and Be Fit Season 8: DVD VHS
• Sit and Be Fit Season 9: DVD VHS
• 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

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