Bone Strengthening Exercises
Osteoporosis Canada recommends a plan of weight-bearing exercises, plus strength, posture and balance training. Speak to your doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if you have bone loss or osteoporosis. Weight bearing exercise means carrying your body weight during activities. They include brisk walking, jogging or running with “small hand weights or Nordic walking poles to engage the muscles of your arms and trunk,” says Cheung. Social activities including dancing and racquet sports are other examples of weight bearing exercise.
Strength training uses free weights, machines, exercise bands or body weight as resistance to improve muscle and bone strength, posture and mobility. Posture exercises strengthen muscles along the spine and shoulder blades, helping to reduce or prevent kyphosis, or a “hunched back”.
Balance training is important to address falling and fear of falling. Cheung recommends tai chi as a safe, effective, low impact exercise that improves muscle strength, flexibility, and balance.
POST EXERCISE NUTRITION
Research has shown that nutrient supplements rich in protein, carbohydrate, calcium and vitamin D, taken immediately after resistance exercise, can help to support muscle mass and strength, and also help build and maintain bone health1. BOOST® Meal Replacement drink contains protein, carbohydrate, calcium and vitamin D, as well as a number of other key nutrients to help you stay strong and active.
1Holm, et al. 2008. J Appl Physiol. 105:274-281.
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