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Exercise For Bone Health

Posted on June 12, 2018 | No Comments on Exercise For Bone Health

Before we leap like ballerinas and tiptoe over tulips, there are important requisites to attaining optimal bone health. The safeguarding of bone health should be three ways: through proper nutrition, intake of medications as needed, and appropriate exercises. Proper nutrition includes eating a diet rich in calcium and allowing 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight exposure two times a week for Vitamin D. A yearly medical check-up from age 45 and up, that includes a bone density test called DEXA will determine the status of bones and the presence of osteoporosis. The need to take medications, especially bisphosphonates, calcium and Vitamin D supplementation will be determined by the doctor.

Who are at greater risk for low bone content or osteoporosis? Those who are lean or thin, those with a history of fractures, those with family history of osteoporosis, post-menopausal women, those taking steroids, cigarette smokers, and those with excessive alcohol or coffee intake.

Physical activities including exercises have bone forming effects Weight bearing activities such: as running, jumping and walking are more effective than weight supported activities such as swimming. Immobilization or prolonged lying down makes us lose the substance of our bone.

Exercise programs with special emphasis on bone density can significantly improve strength and endurance, decrease back pain, and decrease blood sugar and cholesterol levels. With improved strength and balance there is a lesser risk of falling and sustaining fractures. Stronger back muscles can reduce the occurrence of spine fractures. Stronger leg muscles can reduce hip fractures.

After sustaining fractures there is unfortunately, increased disability and dependence. It is very important then to maintain good strong bones and muscles to prevent fractures. What are the other benefits of exercising as we grow older? Exercise can increase our ability to carry out daily activities, maintain or improve posture, relieve or lessen body pains, and improve our sense of well-being.

It is never too early or too late to start exercising. The key to maintaining exercise is to find the safest activities that you can enjoy doing. Here are some recommended exercises for stronger bones which can be performed at home:

1. Standing Posture
a. Stand tall with your back against the wall. Pull in your chin and tighten your abdomen and buttocks.
b.This helps you practice correct standing posture.

2. Walking Posture
a. Walk with your head high and your back and neck as straight as possible and tighten your abdomen.
b. This helps you practice correct walking posture and improves balance and muscle strength.

3. Wall Arch
a. Stand facing the wall and then stretch one arm at a time, then both arms against the wall.
b. This helps you stretch your shoulder and chest muscles and tone your back

4. Chin Tuck
a. While seated and head forward, pull your chin in while your head forward.
b. This stretches the back of the neck and upper back muscles and straightens the back.

5. Chest Stretch
a. While seated and with back straight, stretch your arms out to the side. Hold for a few seconds and then back to the chest
b. This stretches your chest muscles and straightens your back.

6. Shoulder Blade Squeeze
a. While seated with back straight, move your elbows as far back as you can. Hold for a few,seconds. b. This stretches your chest and straightens back muscles.

7. Pelvic Tilt
a. While lying on your back with knees bent, tighten your abdomen muscles and flatten your back againste the bed. Hold for a few seconds.
b. This strengthens your lower back and abdominal muscles.

8. Back and Shoulder Stretch
a. while lying on your back with knees bent, stretch your arms above your head, then spread and lower them slowly.
b. This stretches your trunk, back and shoulder muscles.

9. Back Posture Exercise
a. While seated with hands behind your head, move your elbows backward. Hold for a few seconds.
b. This flattens your upper back and stretches your chest.

10. Sitting Knee Extension
a. While seated with your back straight, straighten one knee keeping heel off the floor. Repeat with other leg.
b. This strengthens the thigh muscles.

11. Calf Stretch
a. Place your hands on the back of a chair for balance, bend your knees and keep your back straight. Hold and repeat with other leg.
b. This stretches calf muscles, heel cords and back of thigh.

12. Upper Back Lift
a. Lie face down with arms at sides and raise your head and chest a few inches from the floor. Hold for a few seconds.
b. This strengthens the back muscles.

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