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Men and Osteoporosis

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The Faces of Osteoporosis

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Exercise and Physical Activity

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Exercise and increased physical activityare an intrinsic part of any comprehensive preventive or treatment regimen for osteoporosis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommend a cumulative 30 minutes of exercise per day to improve cardiovascular health (JAMA 1995;273:402-7.). Increased physical activity is helpful in building bone during the phases of mineral acquisition and bone consolidation.

Weight bearing exercises are recommended and, in general, you should aspire to walk 4 miles per day or 10,000 steps per day, five days per week or engage in the equivalent activity. Cross training, including use of weight-lifting machines, is encouraged. Some exercises (gymnastics) may be better than others (swimming) at increasing or maintaining bone mass. When an exercise program is stopped, the bone gain is lost.

Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program. Consider your interests so that you will keep with the program. Your doctor may assess your range of motion, musculoskeletal strength, mental status, vision, and cardiovascular health before recommending a program.

If you have osteoporosis or are at risk for fracture, you may want to get advice from a registered physical therapist or exercise physiologist to design and an individual program.

An exercise program by itself, or in conjunction with adequate calcium intake, cannot prevent the accelerated bone loss that occurs in early menopause. Individuals who select this approach to the prevention of bone loss in early menopause should be monitored with bone density tests to detect possible ongoing bone loss. Urinary bone turnover markers might also be helpful.

Before Starting an Exercise Program

An indication of a good exercise program is if the fitness instructor or physical therapist asks you to complete a health questionnaire before starting the program, performs a personal fitness assessment and discusses your concerns and goals with you. In addition, if you have low bone density or osteoporosis, ask them the following questions:

1. Through what organization are you certified? The following fitness organizations are the only organizations that are 3rd party accredited and meet the standards for the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA).


2. For Pilates Teachers…. are you PMA Certified through the Pilates Method Alliance?

3. For Yoga Teachers…. are you IAYT Certified through International Alliance of Yoga Therapists?

4. Are you certified in CPR – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation?

5. Have you had special training in working with osteoporosis?

6. Will I be participating in group or private sessions?

7. Specifically about osteoporosis

  • Do you know how to interpret a bone mineral density report?  This very important question indicates the instructor's knowledge about osteoporosis. The answer should be YES!
  • Will my program include: spine flexion exercises? forward bending? hip rotation stretches? These movements are dangerous to fragile bones. The right answer is NO!
  • Will balance exercises and fall prevention be included in the program? All good programs should include balance and fall prevention. The answer should always be YES!
  • Will "transfer training" (moving from chair, bed, car, stairs, etc. with appropriate alignment and posture) and "activities of daily living" be addressed? These are important movements that you do everyday.  The answer should  be YES!

 

Find a therapist trained in safe osteoporosis exerciseUSmapjpg

Consumers and doctors alike should be concerned about who they are getting exercise instructions from. To help you navigate the many options, you can find professionals all around the country with formal training in safe osteoporosis exercise.

To make the cut, these individuals have been trained and certified by Therapilates or by Sara Meeks Seminars. If you find a great professional who is not on the list, encourage them to send their credentials for inclusion. It'll be good for everyone!

 

Exercises for Life
 

Presented by Osteolife and the Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education

Remember! Exercise is important for maintaining your health. Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have osteoporosis or low bone mass.

 

 

sit_to_stand1. Sit to Stand / Stand to Sit

To strengthen the hips and thigh muscles and promote the ease of getting up

  • With your feet shoulder width apart sit down on the edge of the chair.
  • With your feet in front of your knees, stand up.
  • While keeping your back straight and sticking out your rear end, begin to sit by hinging forward at the hip.
  • Remember! Keep your feet in front of your knees.
  • Lightly touch your rear end to the chair and then stand up again.


Repeat 8 times.

 

 

Standing_hip_Abduction2. Standing Hip Abduction

To increase hip strength and promote good balance

  • Use a chair to steady yourself if needed.
  • With your knee straight and toes pointed forward, raise your leg out to the side.
  • Hold for a count of two.
  • Slowly lower your leg.


Repeat 8 times with each leg.

Standing_hip_flexion3. Standing Hip Flexion

To increase hip strength and range of motion

  • Use a chair or table to steady yourself.
  • While keeping your upper body upright, lift your knee until your thigh is parallel to the ground and your knee is bent to 90 degrees.
  • Hold for a count of two.
  • Slowly lower your leg.

Repeat 8 times with each leg.

 

4. Standing Hip Extensionstanding_hip_ext

To increase hip strength and range of motion

  • Use a chair to steady yourself.
  • While keeping your knee straight, raise your leg backwards keeping your heel pointed.
  • Hold for a count of two.
  • Slowly lower your leg.


Repeat 8 times with each leg.

 

Toes_and_heels5. Toes and Heels

To increase ankle strength and range of motion

  • Use a chair to steady yourself.
  • With your feet hip-width apart stand up on to the balls of your feet.
  • Lower yourself slowly so that your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Lift your toes so that you are now standing on your heels.
  • Lower your toes back down and relax.


Repeat 8 times.

 

Cervical_and_Thoracic_Extension6. Cervical and Thoracic Extensions

To increase upper-back strength and improve posture

  • Stand with feet hip–width apart.
  • While tucking your chin in (not down), press your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Don’t hold your breath!
  • Feel that you are straightening and elongating your upper spine.
  • Relax.


Repeat 8 times.

Tip: You may want to stand with your back and shoulders against a wall.

 

Standing_y7a. Standing “Y”

To stretch the front of the chest and improve posture

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  • Begin with your hands crossed in front of your body.
  • Raise your hands over your head leading with your thumbs pointing backwards.
  • Lower slowly.


Repeat 8 times.

 

Standing_w7b. Standing “W”

To stretch the front of the chest and improve posture

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  • Begin with your arms at shoulder level, elbows bent and hands pointed upward.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together while pressing your arms back and down into a “W”shape.
  • Hold for a count of three.


Repeat 8 times.

 

Standing_t7c. Standing “T”

To stretch the front of the chest and improve posture

  • With arms at shoulder level, squeeze your shoulder blades together while pulling your arms behind you.
  • Return to starting position.


Repeat 8 times.

 

Squat8. Squats

To improve upper thigh strength and promote the ease of getting up

  • Stand with feet hip–width apart.
  • While keeping your back straight, squat down by hinging forward at the hip and sticking your rear-end out.
  • Lower your body as far as is comfortable while keeping your knees behind your toes.
  • Hold this squat position for a second.
  • Straighten yourself up.


Repeat 8 times.

 
 

pelvic_tilt9. Pelvic Tilt

 

To lengthen, decompress and improve spine alignment

 
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and arms relaxed at your side. Place the plevis in a netural position so that the prominent bones at the front of your plevis and the pubic bone are parallel to the floor.
 
  • Begin by lenghtening the crown of the head away from the sacrum and the ribs away from the pelvis.
  • Breathe in allowing the belly to expand. Breathe as much of the air out of the lungs feeling the abdominals draw inward all around your waist.
  • Keep the back muscles relaxed and the pelvis and spine perfectly still. Avoid arching or flattening the lower back.


Repeat 8-10 times.

 

Pelvic_tilt_w_breathing10. Core Control with Arm Reaches

 

To increase stomach strength and support the back

 
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and arms relaxed at your side. Place the pelvis in a neutral position so that the prominent bones at the front of your pelvis and the pubic bone are parallel to the floor.
  • Draw the crown of the head away from the sacrum and the ribs away from the pelvis. 
  • Inhale to lengthen the spine.
  • Exhale and reach the right arm overhead. Draw the abdominals in across the low belly as if you have rubber bands attached from your last ribs to your pelvis to keep your low back from arching or the lowest ribs from jutting upward.
  • Inhale, and reach the left arm overhead, as the right arm lowers to the floor.
  • Keep the sholders down away from your ears. Keep the back muscles relaxed and the pelvis and spine perfectly still. Avoid arching or flattening the lower back.


Perform 8-10 repetitions.

Pelvic_tilt_w_arms11. Diaphragmatic Breathing with Arms

To improve sholder mobility and improve spine stability

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and arms relaxed at your side. Place the pelvis in a neutral position so that the prominent bones at the front of your pelvis and the pubic bone are parallel to the floor.
  • Begin by lengthening the crown of the head away from the sacrum and the ribs away from the pelvis.
  • Place one had on your lower abdomen. Inhale, allowing the low belly to expand.
  • Exhale and reach the arm overhead. Keep the shoulders down away from your ears. Keep the back muscles relaxed and the pelvis and spine perfectly still. Avoid arching or flattening the lower back.
  • Perform 8-10 full breaths feeling the hand on the lower abdomen moving up and down.


Repeat 8-10 times alternating each arm.

Pelvic_tilt_w_arms_behind_head12. Chest Stretch with Arms Behind Head

To stretch chest and shoulder muscles and improve posture

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and arms relaxed at your side. Place the pelvis in a netural position so that the prominent bones at the front of your pelvis and the pubic bone are parallel to the floor.
  • Begin by lengthening the crown of the head away from the sacrum and the ribs away from the pelvis.
  • Inhale to lengthen the spine, and exhale, to place your hands behind your head and stretch your elbows down toward the floor.
 

Bridge13. Bridge

 

To improve hip strength and trunk mobility

 
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent, shoulders away from the ears and arms relaxed at your side. Place the pelvis in a neutral position so that the prominent bones at the front of your pelvis and the pubic bone are parallel to the floor. 
  • Draw the crown of the head away from the sacrum and the ribs away from the pelvis.
  • Inhale to lengthen the spine.
  • Exhale and begin  to curl the sacrum (tailbone) up, peeling the spine up off of the mat one vertebra at a time until you are standing right between your shoulder blades. Keep reaching the tailbone long. Draw the pelvic bones toward the ribs to avoid the low back.
  • Inhale to lengthen the spine, and exhale rolling down one vertebra at a time all the way down to the mat.


Repeat 8-10 times.


Tip: Work towards being able to lift your hips six to ten inches off of the floor.

Prone Lying with Pillow 314. Prone Lying with Pillow

To lengthen the body and flatten spinal curves

  • Lie face down on the floor with a pillow placedhorizontally under your abdomen.
  • Choose a pillow that allows you to liecomfortably for several minutes.

Prone-Press-Ups-with-Pillow-315. Prone Press-ups with Pillow

To lengthen the upper back

  • Lie face down on the floor with a pillow placed horizontally under your abdomen.
  • Place your hands on the floor near your shoulders with your palms down.
  • While keeping your lower back and buttocks relaxed, elevate your upper body using your arms. Raise it as high as possible. Don’t look up!
  • Keep your neck straight and in line with your back.
  • Hold for a count of three and lower slowly.


Repeat 5 times.