Exercise for Osteoporosis
Those who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis can benefit from staying active, with regular exercise having been shown to improve bone density. Whilst peak bone density is typically reached by around the age of 25, bone density begins a slow and steady decline from around the age of 30. As bones become more brittle and porous, the risk of serious injury arising from falls and fractures is significantly increased. Not only can regular exercise improve your general health and wellbeing, it can also help to improve bone density and reverse some of the effects of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis – The Facts
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare notes that:
- In 2017-18, 6,838 people aged over 50 with osteoporosis were hospitalised
- Osteoporosis affects 1 in 4 women over 75
- Around 924,000 (3.8% of total population) Australians have osteoporosis
The Importance of Exercise in Bone Health Management
The human body is complex, but it adapts very well to stress provided you do not go too hard, too early. Building stronger bone and muscle is a slow and steady process, but the benefits of daily exercise are clear. Whilst many people with osteoporosis are hesitant to engage in physical activity due to the risk of falls, exercise can in fact improve balance and coordination which will reduce your risk of having a fall or sustaining a fracture.
Physiotherapists recommend starting with balance training exercises, before then progressing onto higher impact, bounding activities and strengthening exercises to support bone growth.
3 Key Forms of Exercise for People with Osteoporosis
Weight Bearing/Impact Training – daily activities such as running and jogging are highly beneficial and will aid bone growth. You can also try hopping and skipping. These activities will be particularly beneficial for leg and spine bones.
Strength Training – there are many exercises which can be performed with either heavy machine weights or free weights. These exercises will benefit the bones which are attached to strong, large muscles and stimulate new bone growth.
Balance Training – the risk of falls amongst those with osteoporosis is significant, so it is important to minimise this risk as much as possible. Balance training can help in avoiding obstacles, as well as stabling oneself after taking a stumble or being thrown off balance. You may wish to try tai chi and yoga.
The team at Therapy Services physio will provide you with a list of tailored exercises following your initial in-home consultation. It is always best to perform a variety of exercises, as each will strengthen bone in a different way. To improve bone health, you should try to maintain a regular routine of vigorous exercise at least 3 days per week.
Therapy Services Physio – We Come to You
If you have recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis, or if you have any niggling pain or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call Therapy Services Physio on 9744 2201 today. We have now moved towards a community-based model and are performing in-home physio visits Monday to Friday. We are here to help keep you moving safely, and we look forward to seeing you soon.