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Treatment of Osteoporosis (cont.)

Exercise and Osteoporosis Treatment

Exercise is an important part of an osteoporosis treatment program. Although bones may seem like hard and lifeless structures, bones are more like muscle; bones are living tissue that respond to exercise by becoming stronger. Exercise improves bone health. An additional benefit is that exercise also increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance and leads to better overall health. Exercise is good for people with osteoporosis. However, discuss any exercise program with a doctor. A doctor may recommend certain exercises, such as those to strengthen the back and protect the spine from fractures. A doctor may also recommend not performing certain exercises because exercise may put sudden or excessive strain on the bones.

Regularly performing weight-bearing exercise (exercise that works against gravity) has been shown to help maintain and build up bone mass. Weight-bearing exercises include walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, playing tennis, and dancing. The second type of exercise is resistance exercise. Resistance exercises include activities that use muscle strength to build muscle mass and strengthen bone. These activities include weight lifting, such as using free weights and weight machines found at gyms and health clubs. The added benefits of exercise, which are stronger muscles and better balance and coordination, can help prevent falls. Falls are a serious worry in anyone with weakened bones (such as from osteoporosis) because even a minor fall can cause a serious injury or even permanent disability.

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