As you age, your bone mass is lost faster than it’s created and one is at higher risk of osteoporosis, a condition where bones become weak or porous and are easily broken. To prevent osteoporosis risk later in life, one should try to achieve high bone mass by consuming calcium-rich food and also through regular exercises in early years, even starting from childhood. A sedentary lifestyle and wrong eating habits on the other hand can speed up bone loss. (Also read: Menopausal arthritis: How yoga, swimming and regular exercise can help relieve the pain)
Lalchawimawi Sanate (PT, LCCE), Senior Physiotherapist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Sahakarnagar Branch Bangalore in an interview with HT Digital suggests exercises to prevent osteoporosis.
Resistance exercise is a form of exercise which uses external weight against gravity to strengthen your muscles and bones. Resistance exercise makes your muscle pull your bones, the pull on your bones boosts your bone strength. Resistance exercise should be practiced twice a week targeting the muscle group of the chest, arms, shoulders, legs, hip, back, and abdominal muscles.
Here are some resistance exercises you can practice:
– Exercise with weights like dumbbells, kettle bars, etc
– Using a resistance band or tube for the exercise
– Using machine-like knee press, shoulder press, or weight lifting exercises using the barbell
Weight-bearing exercises are exercise and activity that activates your muscles against gravity while staying upright. Weight exercises give load to the bones which help improves bone mass.
To get the maximum benefit, high-impact weight-bearing exercise is recommended. But you should check with your physician and physiotherapist if you are not sure how to start.
High impact weight-bearing exercises include:
– Jogging or running
– Climbing steps
– Using jumping rope
– Playing tennis or badminton
– High-impact aerobic exercise
– Dancing like zumba, hip hop, etc.
– High-intensity interval training exercise or HIIT, Tabatha, etc.
Low-impact weight-bearing exercise is a safe alternative if your health condition and your fitness level are not favourable. Low impact weight-bearing exercise include
– Low-impact aerobic exercise
– Using an elliptical cycle or a stepper
– Brisk walking or fast walking on a treadmill
– Squats, lunges, sit-ups, cheat press, etc.
Flexibility exercise is another important exercise that improves the flexibility of muscles and mobility of your joints. With better flexibility and mobility, you are less prone to injury.
Stretching exercise improves the flexibility of the muscles. Stretching of the muscles can be done before and after the exercise as stretching exercises. Stretch the muscles 3-5 times and hold the stretch for at least 10-30 secs
One can consider stretching exercises of calf muscle, hamstring, quadriceps stretching, shoulder stretching, etc.
Exercise like Yoga, Tai chi, and Pilates are good type of exercises that help in flexibility and endurance.
Pilates exercise also helps strengthen core muscles and posture which is a very important component that is not usually focused.
TIPS TO REMEMBER
– People in 19-64 years age group should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week to maintain strong bones and a healthy weight.
– Focus should be on the bones like spine and hip as these are the bones that get fractured due to osteoporosis
– Exercise should be dynamic
– Exercise should exceed your intensity threshold and frequency threshold
– Exercise should be supported with good nutrition, adequate calcium, and Vitamin D