Benefits of exercise for people with osteoporosis

Benefits of exercise for people with osteoporosis

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A sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, poor balance and weak muscles increase the risk of fractures. A person with osteoporosis can improve their health with exercise in valuable ways, including:

  • reduction of bone loss
  • conservation of remaining bone tissue
  • improved physical fitness
  • improved muscle strength
  • improved reaction time
  • increased mobility
  • better sense of balance and coordination
  • reduced risk of bone fractures caused by falls
  • reduced pain
  • better mood and vitality.


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Deciding on an exercise program for people with osteoporosis

Always consult with your doctor, physiotherapist or health care professional before you decide on an exercise program. Factors that need to be considered include:

  • your age
  • the severity of your osteoporosis
  • your current medications
  • your fitness and ability
  • other medical conditions such as cardiovascular or pulmonary disease, arthritis, or neurological problems
  • whether improving bone density or preventing falls is the main aim of your exercise program.

A combination of weight-bearing aerobic and muscle-building (resistance) exercise is best, together with specific balance exercises.

Recommended exercises for people with osteoporosis

Exercises that are good for people with osteoporosis include:

  • weight-bearing aerobics exercise such as dancing
  • resistance training using free weights such as dumbbells and barbells, elastic band resistance, body-weight resistance or weight-training machines
  • exercises to improve posture, balance and body strength, such as tai chi.

Ideally, weekly physical activity should include something from all three groups.