Osteoporosis and Bone Strengthening

It is estimated that in the United States about 50 million people have osteoporosis, and suffer bone fractures, every year. This fact puts prevention crucial when it comes to senior health.

There is good news, however. There is a lot that can be done to reduce the risk of bone fractures from osteoporosis. One study, conducted at Cambridge University, showed that with only two minutes per day of hopping, hip bones could be strengthened significantly enough to lower the risk of fractures in the event of a fall.

The conclusion from this and other studies was that frequent exercise could balance out the effect of aging bones and help to prevent and manage osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is not just a worry for hip bones. Since the disease causes thin and porous bones, there is a general weakening of bone strength throughout the body, increasing the risk of breakage just about anywhere. The wrist, spine, and shoulder are all susceptible.

The following exercises can strengthen bones and reduce the effects of osteoporosis.

Strength training

The use of weights and weight machines can make muscles and bones work by the motions of lifting, pushing and pulling.

Balance training

By standing on one foot/leg and reducing your base of support, you challenge your balance, thereby strengthening it. Good balance can prevent falls.

Posture training

People with osteoporosis can benefit greatly from paying attention to the way the different parts of their body are aligned.

Weight-bearing aerobic activity

Movements like jumping rope, playing tennis, and dancing are rhythmic activities which, when practiced for at least ten minutes at a time, can help improve bone strength.