When looking to manage the effects of osteoporosis, there are some exercises that can help to strengthen your bones. However, not all types of exercise are good for you to try out when exercising with osteoporosis.
Low-impact physical exercises and activities such as walking can help to build stronger bones and help them remain strong. Other muscle-strengthening exercises like free weight can help to maintain bone density. However, high-impact exercises and activities are not good for managing osteoporosis as they put too much pressure on the weak bones and increase the risk of fractures.
Here are specific activities that you should steer clear of if you have osteoporosis or other forms of low bone density.
Sit-ups and Toe Touches
These exercises involve a lot of bending and twisting which can put force on the joints in your spine. Usually, the joints in the vertebrae are weaker than other bones in the body, whether or not you have osteoporosis. For healthier people without osteoporosis, the vertebrae are strong enough to handle the force or pressure of sit-ups or toe touches. However, that is not the case when exercising with osteoporosis as these exercises can put your spine at risk of compression fracture, which can lead to other fractures.
This weight-bearing aerobic activity increases the stress on your bones as you move your legs, hips, and lower spine. This can lead to injury or fractures that may induce pain and limit your mobility. Instead of running, you can try power walking instead as it is much safer.
Doing exercises like jumping ropes, jumping jacks, or other physical activities and exercises that involve jumping can fracture your already weak bones. This is because of the abrupt and explosive impact that occurs each time you land from a jump.
Golf and Tennis
These two sports involve a forceful waist twist that occurs from swinging a racket or club. Twisting your waist in such a manner can pull your muscles and ligaments to the end of their stretch, putting your bones at risk. This puts forceful pressure on the joints and discs of your spine as that can lead to fractures.
Specific Yoga and Pilates Poses
Even though yoga and pilates can help improve strength and balance, certain poses are good for those with osteoporosis. Poses that require rounded spine movements or deep twists are not ideal for low bone density. Those poses can induce pressure that can strain the spine and increase the risk of fractures. Poses to avoid include:
- Pigeon pose and other deep hip stretches
- Warrior pose
- Bicycle or corkscrew pose
- Corkscrew or bicycle
- … and several others
Skiing and Other High-Fall Risk Sports
Skiing, ice skating, rollerblading, and other sports with high fall risks should be avoided as they can cause fractures to bones.
Resistance Training with Fixed-Weight Machines
Training with fixed-weight machines is not ideal for anyone with osteoporosis as you may need to do some bending, twisting, and flexion, which can add forceful pressure on the spine. This can cause fractures to the bones and that can be bad for your health.
Our retirement community offers fitness classes with personal instructors for residents to engage in physical exercise according to their physical capability. Our fitness coaches can help determine the best safe activities for you to manage osteoporosis properly. To learn about the other amenities, senior living programs, and senior living options our community offers, feel free to contact us.