Exercises to Prevent Osteoporosis and Maintain Bone Density
Exercising not only burns calories and helps you lose weight, it also strengthens and builds muscles, improves endurance and cardiovascular fitness, and helps build and maintain bone mass. Experts recommend a combination of resistance, weight-bearing and flexibility exercises for optimal health. Let’s explore all three types of exercise:
Resistance involves working against the weight of an object—free weights or a weight machine, for example. Resistance exercises increase bone density, reducing the risk of bone fractures. Additional examples of resistance exercises include:
- Water exercises—doing exercise in water is easy on the joints, and the water provides the resistance to strengthen muscles and bones.
- Resistance tubing/bands—available in a variety of strengths, exercise bands are an excellent alternative to free weights.
Weight-bearing simply refers to exercises that use your feet and legs to support the weight of your body. Examples of weight-bearing exercises include:
- Climbing Stairs
Maintaining flexibility in the joints helps prevent injury and is an important part of preventing osteoporosis. Flexibility exercises include:
- Tai chi—an excellent exercise for older individuals, as it involves gentle movements.
It’s important to talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen, especially for those who have bone loss or osteoporosis. Regular exercise is important for optimal health, and even if you haven’t exercised regularly in the past, it’s never too late to start!
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