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Osteoporosis: Are You At Risk?


Female runner standing with image displayed from neck down, highlighting her hip bone, femur, and tibula in red with a blue background.

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall, or in serious cases, from minor bumps and even sneezing. An estimated eight million women and two million men in the United States have osteoporosis. It is now responsible for more than two million fractures each year. Six out of 10 people who break a hip never fully regain their former level of independence. Fortunately, we can decrease our chances of getting it and even prevent the disease from getting worse if you already do have it. If you are interested in learning more, keep on reading to find out helpful exercises you can incorporate for strong and healthy bones.


1. Lift weights

This can be done with dumbbells, resistance bands, water bottles, or your own body weight. All you need is 20 minutes twice a week to maintain strong bones. Here are 12 different exercises you can try at home. Complete the recommended repetitions for 1 set. As you build more strength, aim for 2-3 sets.

  1. Squat and press 15 reps

  2. Forward Lunges and lateral raise 20 reps

  3. DB step ups 15 reps

  4. 2 arm rows 15 reps

  5. Curl and upright row15 reps

  6. Triceps kickback 12 reps

  7. DB pullover

  8. Side bicycle crunches 20 reps total

  9. Heel taps 20 reps total

  10. Hip raises

  11. Modified pushups 10 reps

  12. Modified plank hold 30 seconds


2. Weight bearing Aerobic Activities

Accompanied with resistance training, you not only reap the benefits of strong muscles and bones, but also a healthy heart, lifted mood, and better sleep!

  • Walking

  • Running (Skip this one if you already have osteoporosis)

  • Dancing

  • Low-impact aerobics

  • Elliptical training machines

  • Stair climbing

  • Gardening

3. Flexibility Exercises

Flexibility helps improve your range of motion and it’s best done after your exercise regimen or after a good 10-minute warm up when your muscles are warm.

  • Chest stretch

  • Upper back stretch

  • Triceps stretch

  • Calf stretch

  • Hamstrings stretch

  • Quadriceps stretch

  • Glutes stretch

  • Inner thighs

  • Lower back stretch

  • Torso stretch

4. Balance Exercises

By improving your balance, you can help prevent future falls especially if you already have osteoporosis. Simple exercises such as standing on one leg or movement-based exercises such as tai chi can improve your stability and balance.


The Takeaway Message

It is never too late to start an exercise program to help strengthen your muscles, bones, and heart. Along with a well-balanced diet with the recommended 400 IU of Vitamin D and 1000 mg of calcium, and avoiding smoking, you are well on your way to a healthy lifestyle routine that can help prevent many diseases, especially osteoporosis.


Learn more about disease prevention and other wellness programs offered by Wellness Workdays.


Written by: Ruby Khatchaturian, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern


Sources:

1. Harvard Health Publishing

2. Mayo Clinic


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