Osteoporosis is a debilitating and life changing disease, affecting a large number of women. Although a certain amount of bone density may be lost in the aging process, the advanced stages of osteoporosis can cause bones to become extremely fragile and much more prone to fracture. Yoga for osteoporosis can be a great way to gently exercise both the body and mind.
Benefits of Yoga for Osteoporosis
“Yoga can help people with osteoporosis because when you hold yoga poses for a long period of time, the length of time stresses the muscle, which in turn triggers the bone to harden,” says Frances Hinton, a yoga teacher and HealthChoicesFirst.com partner.
Yoga as an Osteoporosis Treatment
Although there’s no way to replace bone tissue that’s already been lost, changes in diet and exercise can do a great deal to help prevent osteoporosis and keep your bones strong. Many types of exercise can be used to maintain bone strength, however yoga is one of the best weight bearing exercises to help prevent osteoporosis.
Unlike many forms of exercise, yoga for osteoporosis is very low impact, which helps to greatly reduce the risk of injury to joints and bones during a workout.
Yoga Poses for Osteoporosis
Different yoga poses will be more beneficial depending on which areas of the body require strengthening. If you’re concerned about the health of your spine, practice poses that cause the muscles in your back to work against gravity.
To maintain strength in your hip joints, focus on seated postures. Yoga for osteoporosis will help to greatly increase your flexibility in this area. Try standing poses if you’re looking to maintain strength in the large bones in your legs and hips. As a weight bearing exercise for your legs, these poses will help to keep you flexible.
Although the right forms of exercise can go a long way in preventing osteoporosis, keep in mind that some yoga poses may also do more harm than good depending on your level of mobility.
“When you have osteoporosis and you’re already practicing yoga, there’s a couple little things you have to change in your life and how you do your postures, and that’s avoiding flexions and extreme rotations. And always talk with your teacher, someone who is experienced in teaching people with this type of a disease, as to what you should do and what you shouldn’t be doing,” says Hinton.
Complementary Content to Yoga for Osteoporosis
Videos & Articles:
Do you have osteoporosis? A useful tool for detecting osteoporosis is bone density testing. A bone density test works by using a small amount of X-ray to measure the bone mineral density of various parts of the body.Learn more: watch our bone density testing video.
What you eat plays a big part in the management of diseases, including osteoporosis. Eating a healthy diet can help you manage osteoporosis symptoms and improve your quality of life. Are you getting enough of the nutrients you need to prevent or manage osteoporosis? Learn how your nutrition choices impact osteoporosis.