Which Exercises Can Help Prevent Osteoporotic Fractures?

When you have osteoporosis, your risk of developing fractures increases significantly due to the weakening of your bones. In addition to participating in occupational therapy to learn new ways of moving to reduce the risk of falls that may cause these breakages, it's important to strengthen the bones to make them better able to sustain impacts. Although medication is a common way to do this, here are a couple of exercises you can participate in that can also be beneficial.

Medium- to High-Impact Aerobics

It may seem odd to recommend aerobics exercise that's known for it's jarring impact on the body as a means of strengthening the bones, because at first glance it would appear that medium- to high-impact aerobics would only acerbate the risk of fractures or worsen ones you may already have. In reality, this type of exercise is actually necessary for healthy bones.

That's because bones work similarly to muscles in that they get stronger by putting more stress on them. Impact exercises forces the bones to build themselves up to better withstand the force the movement put on them. While low-impact exercises, such as walking and swimming, are great for your overall health, they don't put an adequate amount of stress on the bones to make them beneficial. Instead, the best workouts for this purpose is running, jumping, and other similar jarring activities.

However, that doesn't mean you should grab the first Jane Fonda workout video you can get your hands on and start dancing like no one's watching, especially if you've lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle. You have to buildup your strength and endurance.

It's a good idea to start off with a low-impact exercise to get used to doing it and then gradually increase the challenge until you're doing high-impact ones. For instance, start walking for 20 minutes per day and then gradually increase the challenge until you're running for the same time. This will keep your risk of develop or aggravating fractures to a minimum while helping you achieve real results.

Strength Training Exercises

Resistance exercises, such as lifting free weights and using elastic belts, are another good tool for building stronger bones. Like with impact exercise, strength training forces the bones to toughen up to better endure the stress of use. As an added bonus, though, you'll also build muscle that can help support the skeletal system and increase your ability to maintain your balance so you're less likely to fall.

Like with impact exercises, it's best to start with the minimum weight and gradually build up to higher ones and more reps. However, to maximize your results and avoid unintentionally losing gains between training sessions, you should workout out at least two to three times per week.

Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before engaging in any exercise program to ensure it's safe for you to do so. For more information about osteoporotic fracture treatments, like Radius, contact an orthopedist.