By Mary Ann Wilson, RN
If you have Osteoporosis, a weight bearing exercise, such as walking, is ideal. The pull of the muscles on the long bones make the bones more dense. But how can you strengthen the muscles in the back and help protect the spine from fracture? A great exercise is one you can do right in your chair!
Let’s focus on a few exercises to expand the ribcage and open the chest. Osteoporosis can bring about breathing difficulties. The chest often becomes closed and the rib cage almost sits on the pelvis. As the spine becomes weaker, curvature increases, and fractures can occur. The more exercises you do to expand the rib cage and open the chest, the better you’ll be able to breathe.
The exercise below not only strengthens the vertebra and improves posture, but it also stretches the chest muscles and helps defeat the round shoulder syndrome. Work on keeping the shoulders back to keep the spine erect and allow the muscles to do the best job they can to support the spine.
Sit and Be Fit Seated Exercises for the Upper Body to Help Those Managing Osteoporosis
- Move forward in your chair with your feet firmly planted on the floor.
- Place the fingertips behind the head and gently pull the elbows back to the point of a comfortable stretch. Hold the stretch for at least 10 seconds. Repeat several times.
- Now, let’s add something to that basic exercise…..Breathe in to the count of 3 and watch the rib cage lift. Now relax. Repeat several times. This strengthens the accessory muscles for breathing.
- Reach up for the sky with one arm, right above the shoulder and now touch the back of the neck.
Exercise Precautions for those with Osteoporosis
Some movements to avoid:
- reaching forward and bending with the spine in a flexed position
- the old fashioned sit-up
- bringing the knee to the chest