Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Men as well as women are affected by osteoporosis. The good news is that osteoporosis can be prevented and treated.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the best exercises for building and maintaining bone density are:
Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, that makes you work against gravity while staying upright
Muscle-strengthening exercise, such as weight lifting, that makes you work against gravity in a standing, sitting, or prone position
Non-impact activities such as balance, functional, and posture exercises also may benefit people with osteoporosis. Although these exercises don't build or maintain bone density, they may increase muscle strength and decrease the risk of falls and fractures
The Symptons of Osteoporosis
Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
A stooped posture
Loss of height over time
A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected
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Prevent the Onset of Osteoporosis
At any age, exercise is essential for maintaining healthy bones. If you exercised regularly as a child and young adult, you probably helped maximize your bone production, most of which occurs by age 35. If you continued to exercise into middle age and beyond, you probably helped reduce your risk of developing the bone-thinning disease called osteoporosis.
If you already have osteoporosis or are at high risk of developing it, it’s never too late to start a bone-healthy exercise program. Although it is commonly believed that exercise increases the risk of injury from broken bones, the truth is quite the opposite. A regular, properly designed exercise program may actually help prevent the falls and fall-related fractures that so often result in disability and premature death. That’s because exercise strengthens bones and muscles, and improves balance, coordination, and flexibility, which is especially important for older adults and people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.