- Bone health: Tips to keep your bones healthy
- Exercising with osteoporosis: Stay active the safe way
- Calcium and calcium supplements: Achieving the right balance
- Fall prevention: 6 tips to prevent falls
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- Symptom Checker
Tests and diagnosis (1)
- Bone density test
Treatments and drugs (2)
- Osteoporosis treatment: Medications can help
- Options for osteoporosis therapy
Exercising with osteoporosis: Stay active the safe way
If you have osteoporosis, you might mistakenly think exercise will lead to fracture. In fact, though, using your muscles helps protect your bones.By Mayo Clinic staff
Osteoporosis is a major cause of disability in older women. So if you have osteoporosis, how can you reduce your risk of the spinal problems and broken bones that can result in loss of mobility and independence?
The answer: Exercise.
If you've always been physically active, good for you. Even though your bones may lose some density as you age, they're less likely to become brittle enough to break if you slip and fall. Plus by exercising, you strengthen your muscles and stronger muscles also help protect your bones.
Benefits of exercise
It's never too late to start exercising. After menopause, the pace of bone loss really picks up. Starting an exercise program can increase your muscle strength, improve your balance and help you avoid falls — and it may keep your bones from getting weaker.
For postmenopausal women, regular physical activity can:
- Increase your muscle strength
- Improve your balance
- Make you better able to carry out daily tasks and activities
- Maintain or improve your posture
- Relieve or decrease pain
- Improve your sense of well-being
Exercising if you have osteoporosis means finding the safest, most enjoyable activities for you, given your overall health and amount of bone loss. There's no one-size-fits-all prescription.
Before you start
Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program for osteoporosis. You may need some tests first, including:
- Bone density measurement
- Fitness assessment
In the meantime, think about what kind of activities you enjoy most. If you choose an exercise you enjoy, you're more likely to stick with it over time.Next page
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- Lindsay R, et al. Osteoporosis. In: Fauci AS, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=2903484. Accessed Aug. 18, 2010.
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