Seniors with osteoporosis, a condition affecting approximately 25 million Americans, often avoid exercise for fear of sustaining an unexpected fracture. In reality, the bone-weakening disorder can often be effectively managed with a combination of medication and exercise to strengthen bones and supporting muscles. Here are a few exercise tips from Allentown home care professionals for seniors with osteoporosis.
1. Maintain Proper Form
Resistance training done with free weights or resistance bands can help seniors maintain bone density. If your senior loved one uses weight machines, he or she should avoid twisting motions and be cognizant of their posture to avoid muscle strain or other injuries.
2. Work with a Physical Therapist or Trainer
Choose a physical therapist or trainer familiar with the unique exercise needs of seniors with conditions like osteoporosis. They can recommend routines that are both safe and effective for your loved one’s ability level.
3. Get in the Water
Walking in waist-level water or performing slow, controlled movements can provide enough resistance on bones to slow mineral loss without placing too much stress on joints and muscles. Swimming can be good exercise, but seniors won’t get any weight-bearing benefits.
4. Maintain Flexibility and Range of Motion
Moving joints through their full range of motion will help seniors maintain flexibility. Do a 10-15 minute warm-up before any stretching, and avoid stretches that cause pain or directly flex the spine.
5. Make It Fun
Seniors should embrace aerobic activities they’ll be motivated to do on a regular basis to maintain balance and bone strength. If tennis and jogging are too strenuous, the same results can be achieved with daily walks, working in the garden, or taking a dance class specifically for seniors.
In addition to exercise, maintaining a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D from foods like low-fat dairy products and fatty fish like mackerel can also help reduce the risk of fractures. Smoking and the excessive consumption of alcohol should also be avoided. Before starting any exercise routine, seek doctor approval.
Some seniors have trouble maintaining a regular exercise routine because they need physical support. If this sounds like your aging loved one, Home Care Assistance can help. Our expertly trained caregivers in Allentown can provide physical support in addition to preparing nutritious meals and encouraging other healthy lifestyle habits. Learn more about our services by calling 484-350-3874 today and scheduling a free consultation.