Did you know there are easy things you can do to build your bone density? They don’t have to be difficult excerises, just being consistent will do good for your bones, not to mention keeping you sharp (yes, exercise helps your cognition too!)
First lets start with precautions. Bending your spine forward, especially when combined with a twist should be avoided, especially if you have osteoporosis or spinal conditions. In fact bending and twisting in any direction puts stress on your spine and puts you at risk of a fracture, so play it safe and try to avoid these types movements.
There are two ways to stimulate and build your bones, impact and resistance.
Jumping stimulates your bones with impact. It gets your heart pumping which is great for keeping in shape, increasing your stamina and strengthening your heart. Just stand up and jump up and down 10 times. Rest and repeat several times or you can wait and jump 10x throughout your day. If however you don’t do higher impact actitvity you can take a graded approach and start by marching in place bringing your leg and foot down firmly to make the impact as great as you can.
Lifting weights will give your bones resistance as your muscles contract to lift the load. Lifting weights is a great way to stimulate your arms, as well as your legs. Lift in functional movement patterns and start safely first with low weights. Increase your weights as you’re able so your lifting is somewhat hard and do lower repetitions 5 times to 10 times max. If your wrists hurt you when doing upper body weights try a pair of WAGs (www.getwags.com).
Most important, don’t overlook your vertabrae. When doing both impact and resistance exercise contract your core and stabilize the spine. This is important in preventing falls as is challenging your balance. But we’ll save how to improve your balance for another post. The last point is if you have osteoporosis or spinal conditions you could consult with a physical therapist or an excersize physiologist with knowledge of osteoporosis before you begin.