The Best Exercises to Prevent and Treat Osteoporosis

September 14, 2016

Increase strength and bone density with the following exercises

By Tracy Dye

It’s always good to bone up on different ways to keep your body healthy and strong, especially when it comes to aging. Exercise is a great way to prevent and ameliorate common health conditions like osteoporosis.

As the name states, osteoporosis occurs when the bones develop porous fissures. As the disease develops, these brittle bones can fracture, leading to falls and injury. Although women tend to be at the highest risk for osteoporosis, men can develop the disease as well.

Here’s a few different exercises to try if you want to protect and strengthen your bones.

Yoga and Pilates

Both of these mind body practices focus on building strength by using the body’s own weight as resistance — an excellent way to preserve and build bone. Balance is also an integral part of yoga and Pilates classes, which can help prevent falls that can lead to bone breaks.

In a 2015 study published in the Journal of Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 41 postmenopausal women were divided into two exercise groups. The group who participated in clinical Pilates exercises effectively increased bone density and also experienced pain reduction when the study was completed.

For 10 years, Columbia University Dr. Loren M. Fishman studied the effects of yoga on bone mineral density (BMD) on 741 volunteers. Of the volunteers, the 227 who were considered compliant with a regular practice of yoga were found to have significantly improved BMD and overall bone quality.

Each participant completed 12-minute yoga routines, which shows you that a little really can go a long way.  

Strength training

According to the Mayo Clinic, engaging in exercise that uses free weights, resistance bands and certain machinery can work well to build bone and also preserve bone density. The appropriate exercises and equipment to use will vary based on your background.

Check with a physician before engaging in specific activities. At Columbia Association’s three fitness facilities, personal trainers are available to guide you in selecting the right tools and equipment to best fit your needs.

High-impact exercises

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, high-impact exercises like jogging, dancing, tennis and jumping can significantly increase strength and build bone.

However, if you are currently suffering from osteoporosis or osteopenia (the condition that often precedes osteoporosis), it is important to check with your physician before engaging in any type of high-impact workout routine, as these exercises can increase the risk of fractures.

Get started

Columbia Association offers a variety of group fitness classes and personal training options to help you enhance your overall health and quality of life. Learn more about CA’s health and fitness services here.

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