Exercising With Osteoporosis: Very Possible And Very Necessary

Preventing osteoporosis may have been your goal, but if you develop it anyway, you're not doomed to never move safely again. In fact, if you develop osteoporosis, you should definitely exercise because the muscle you build is protective. It can be the difference between the osteoporosis taking over your life and the osteoporosis being just a thing in your medical chart. You do have to be aware of some key differences, though, between pre- and post-osteoporosis exercise.

The Doctor's Evaluation

Exercise programs have disclaimers about checking with your doctor and having your physical condition evaluated before you start. This is generally fine advice, though few people take it; they just start exercising. With osteoporosis, though, you must get an evaluation so that you know how far along the osteoporosis is and how it will affect your choice of exercise. For example, you may have to start out slowly, with very low-impact exercises like walking and stair-climbing, before you go for the major strength-training routines. Or, you may have to forgo some exercises because the strain they would put on your back could cause more problems at this point than the exercises would solve.

Finding That Weight-Bearing Exercise

Then you need to discuss the exercises that would help you the most. Weight-bearing exercises are crucial, but do you head to a gym for weight-lifting, or do you start out at home with some basic bodyweight moves? You have to discuss how much is too much and learn about symptoms that indicate that you've gone too far.

You may also find that machine-assisted exercises, such as elliptical training and slow treadmill work, may be more suitable, at least at first.

Eating to Match

The osteoporosis is also going to change your eating habits. You'd do well to meet with a dietitian who works with osteoporosis patients to figure out what to eat to help your body gain strength and protect your bones. You shouldn't slack off on the calcium and vitamin D, for example, and protein will play a large role in muscle formation.

The Gentle Path

Then there are additional exercises that help you get stronger and more flexible even if you aren't lifting weights. Exercises like tai chi and yoga are becoming more and more common in cities across the country, and these help lower stress levels and promote overall good health. But you do need to be careful because your doctor may ask you not to do certain movements to avoid too much stress on your bones.

As you exercise more and build up muscle, you'll find your live improving overall. You might not get rid of osteoporosis, but you can turn it into just another thing you have, instead of a condition that runs your life. For more information, visit your doctor. (note to reviewer: no website provided despite special considerations)