Osteoporosis and Strength Training

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* Before beginning any new exercise routine, consult a fitness professional!

Osteoporosis is characterized by a decrease in bone mineral density, causing an increased risk for bone fracture.  1 in every 4 women and 1 out of every 6-7 men are at risk for developing osteoporosis at some point in their lives.  Research has shown that an exercise program designed by a professional can assist with slowing down the process of bone density loss and can even help people slightly increase density. 

Each individual is different of course, but general guidelines are to strength train 2-3x weekly, 1-3 sets of 8-12 reps, and about 1 exercise per major muscle group. Daily balance exercise is recommended as well, up to 15 minutes daily. Balance exercise will generally not help with bone density, but it will decrease risk for falls and therefore risk for fractures.  Recommendations for impact exercise are as follows: for those with osteopenia or osteoporosis, without fractures, 50 impacts per session (light jog, hop, jump) are recommended.  For people with fractures, balance issues or lower extremity injury, brisk walking is better than regular walking, and regular walking is better than no exercise at all.  

Other forms of exercise such as swimming and cycling are great for cardiovascular health but do not produce much of an impact on bone growth. Regular exercise throughout the life span can help to offset the natural loss of bone mineral as well improve quality of life.

C’mon in and see your friendly local physio for a custom program!

Dr. Kim

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