SPONSORED CONTENT | inMotion Integrative Physical Therapy
A diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis is often associated with the message that you are “fragile”, “you have to be careful from now on”, or “you can no longer do the things you used to” out of fear. Many worry about their balance and falls. Some people do not want to be dependent on medication for the rest of their lives that may have harmful side effects. These fear based messages cause people to become extra cautious and to move very little, which can actually have a negative effect on bone health.
How does little movement have a negative impact on bone health?
- Bones need to be stimulated to improve their density.
- Posture needs to be improved to reduce risk of compression fractures.
- Balance needs to improve to reduce risk of falling.
Most advice after diagnosis is “ do weight bearing exercises” with minimal to no instruction and little follow up, if any. This advice also does not consider the importance of good balance and posture. If you have osteoporosis, you might mistakenly think exercise will lead to fracture. In fact, using your muscles to improve your balance & posture will help protect your bones.
Some of the benefits of exercise include:
- Increase muscle strength
- Improve balance
- Decrease risk of bone fracture
- Maintain or improve posture
- Relieve or decrease pain
Exercising if you have osteoporosis means finding the safest, most enjoyable activities for you given your overall health and amount of bone loss. There’s no one-size-fits-all prescription. Certain types of exercise strengthen muscles and bones, while other types are designed to improve your balance — which can help prevent falls.
If you’re new to exercise or haven’t worked out for a while, you should aim to gradually increase the amount you do until you get to 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise per day on most days of the week. It’s important to talk to your doctors about which types of e
- Strength training exercises, especially those for the upper back
- Weight-bearing aerobic activities
- Flexibility exercises
- Stability and balance exercises
Because of the varying degrees of osteoporosis and the risk of fracture, you might be discouraged from doing certain exercises. Be sure to find out what exercises are appropriate for your situation. If you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, these types of movements may cause you problems:
- High-impact exercises. Activities such as jumping, running or jogging can lead to fractures in weakened bones. Avoid jerky, rapid movements in general. Choose exercises with slow, controlled movements. If you’re generally fit and strong despite having osteoporosis, however, you might be able to engage in somewhat higher-impact exercise than can someone who is frail.
- Bending and twisting. Exercises in which you bend forward at the waist and twist your waist, such as touching your toes or doing sit-ups, can increase your risk of compression fractures in your spine if you have osteoporosis.
What Else You Can Do for Bone Health
Exercise can benefit almost everyone with osteoporosis. but it’s only one part of a good treatment plan. Be sure to get plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your diet, stay at a healthy weight, and don’t smoke or drink too much alcohol. Work with your physical therapist to figure out the best ways to stay healthy and strong.
InMotion Integrative Physical Therapy
538 Maple Ave.
Saratoga Springs NY 12866
InMotion’s Osteoporosis Program is more than just a series of exercises. Created and taught by a Dr. of Physical Therapy and Women’s Health Specialist and co-led by a certified Yoga Teacher and Personal Trainer, the whole experience is empowering, backed by research, and carefully crafted to give you the most well-rounded approach possible.
Strength training techniques are carefully chosen and proven to be effective at building bone density and address posture and balance for a well rounded program for all skill levels. Research shows that training twice a week for 12 weeks is the time needed to show improvement in strength. That’s why InMotion’s program is 12 weeks total broken into three phases of four weeks each. Each phase slowly progresses you to feeling more confident and independent while still having plenty of guidance and support.