Osteoporosis is a common ailment in people over age fifty that causes the bones to become brittle and prone to fractures. It typically results from a lack of calcium or vitamin D. Doing certain exercises can help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. Here are some exercises to try out to build up bone strength. Before taking on a new exercise, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s right for you.
Weight-bearing exercises are any activity where you are being supported by your legs or feet. This could be dancing, high-impact aerobics, hiking, jogging or running, jumping rope, stair climbing, or tennis. If you cannot do high-impact exercises try using an elliptical training machine, doing low-impact aerobics, using a stair-stepping machine, or fast walking on a treadmill or outside. These weight-bearing exercises are helpful for building strong bones because as you put stress on your bones, they respond by building more cells.
Tai Chi helps build coordination and strength in your bones through slow movements and balance. Do this exercise for 45 minutes a day, five days a week to promote strong bones. A study in The Physician and Sportsmedicine found that women who did Tai Chi consistently for a year had a slower rate of bone loss by three-and-a-half times than those who didn’t do Tai Chi.
Yoga can build your bone health in your spine, hips, and wrists, which are the bones most vulnerable to fractures. There are a lot of different yoga poses that you can focus on to build strong bones in certain areas.
Lifting weights or using resistance bands will help build strong bones and muscle mass at the same time. Make it your goal to exercise every major muscle group once a week.
Doing everyday work in your garden can help you build strong bones. Carrying the watering can, picking up debris, and pulling weeds can all help you with bone strength. Be sure to keep your spine straight and most spinal fractures happen when bending over.
If you already have bone thinning be sure to take these precautions:
- Be cautious about exercises that could result in serious falls.
- If you have bone thinning in your spine, avoid back bending yoga poses and bending over – try to keep your spine straight when exercising.
- Check with your doctor about any medications you’re taking that could throw off your balance before you start exercising.
If you are nearing or already 65 and would like more information on Medicare Plans in Washington State, please visit our Overview of Medicare, as well as our guide for those who are New to Medicare. For assistance in choosing a Medicare plan, contact us to get in touch with a licensed insurance agent today!