Recent statistics report that osteoporosis is causing more than 8.9 million fractures annually, which translates to one fracture every 3 seconds worldwide. Unfortunately, this shocking rate is on the rise. That is one more reason exercise should be an integral part of peoples’ lifestyle. Exercise is not just a way to reach fitness goals, it could also be the only way to prevent future potential diseases, especially those that have to do with osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis causes and types
Osteoporosis happens when bones become weak due to different factors. The main causes of osteoporosis are hormonal changes, deficiency of calcium or vitamin D, estrogen deficiency in women, testosterone deficiency in men, and mostly an idle lifestyle that lacks movement. There are also different types of osteoporosis that include primary, secondary, osteogenesis imperfect, and Idiopathic juvenile osteoporosis. The primary type is the most common type of osteoporosis, and is attributed to bone mass decrease due to aging factors. The secondary type occurs as a result of taking some medicines that cause bones to breakdown and which are taken in order to treat certain illnesses such as leukemia, hyperparathyroidism, or hyperthyroidism. The third and forth types are rare and there are no apparent reasons for both. The former type comes as a birth bone disorder, whereas the latter affects children. However, the symptoms in all types are almost the same.
Osteoporosis and exercise
Exercise is important for people of all ages and it should be practiced throughout life regardless of whether or not the person is sick. Just like exercise is used for treating many diseases, it is also recommended for osteoporosis both as a treatment and as a prevention. Through exercise, bones and muscles are strengthened and the bones’ density is increased and better maintained. To successfully use the help of exercise to overcome osteoporosis, people need to choose the proper exercises for them. Moreover, due to the hectic life of many, practical workouts that can be easily and effectively applied at anytime and anywhere are the ones mostly looked for.
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Practical exercises for osteoporosis
There are three essential types of exercise in general: weight bearing, resistance and flexibility. Below are some of the most practical and easy-to-do exercises that cover the three exercise areas that a patient needs. The below exercises can be done by the average person and incorporated in his/her lifestyle.
Exercises for weight bearing:
A total of four hours of walking per week is all what it takes to lower the risk of hip fracture and to restore bones’ health. Walking is convenient for many as it is easy and because it can be practiced at anytime and anywhere.
Dancing steps that involve hips movement such as salsa, tango, samba, and so forth are good for osteoporosis treatment. It’s recommended that patients enroll at one of these dancing classes even if it’s only for a few sessions in order to learn the basics steps so that later he/she can practice this fun exercise in his/her free time at home.
- Stair climbing
There is nothing as convenient as doing stair climbing exercises. People can make use of the stairs at their houses or offices to build and strengthen their bones. However, those who have knee problems are advised not to do this workout.
- Free weight exercises
Lifting weights by using barbell or dumbbell has been proven to improve bone strength, balance and flexibility. This type of exercise doesn’t necessary require the patient to go to gym as it can be done at home. All the patient needs is to purchase weights, and they will be able to do a variety of moves that strengthen their muscles and bones at the comfort of their houses.
- Elastic band exercises
Using resistance bands in workouts improves the overall structure of bones which become strengthened and balanced. Almost any weights exercise can be modified and performed using resistance bands. The bands, however, are more practical to carry and use anywhere and anytime.
- Under water exercises
Some exercises can be hard on the joints, especially for an arthritis patient. That’s where under water exercises come in. Muscles are worked out best underwater due to water resistance, while joints don’t suffer the way they do in ordinary exercise. Under water exercises include water aerobics, but you can also go swimming to receive similar benefits.
- Chair workouts
This is an easy-to-do exercise that helps in improving balance and decreasing the risk of falling or breaking a bone. In this exercise, a patient should hold each position for 20-30 seconds and with a repetition of ten times. The routine involves different positions such as holding a steady chair with two hands without bending and then raising the toes up and going back onto the heals.
- Wall workouts
Wall workouts are good for strengthening the hips, abdomen and back. All that it takes to do this workout is a wall for 2-3 times a week.
- Regular stretching
Stretching the body is good for reducing back pain and improving spinal postures. Lengthening thighs, arching back, raising and rotating shoulders, lifting knees, and pulling feet toward the body are some of the stretching workouts for osteoporosis. The key is not to force the stretch till the point of pain but not to feel pain at all.
Statistics speak out
The unlimited benefits of exercise are proved to improve the fitness and lifestyle of many people. Osteoporosis is no exception as exercise can do wonders to ease the symptoms and also to work out as a precaution measurement.