Weight vest for Spinal Osteopenia or Osteoporosis.. One of the things we know is that our osteoblasts (bone building cells) respond to increase load on our bones. This is the whole reason why those with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis are advised to start a 'weight bearing exercise program' as soon as possible.
For those with spinal Osteopenia or Osteoporosis this can be a challenge since they are also advised not to bend forward from the waist since in coming out from this position vertebral fractures often occur. See: Exercise warnings
So how to you add load to your spine without bending forward?
One of the easiest ways is to use a weight vest. A well fitted vest adds weight when you stand or walk. In fact if you have the right vest you can slip it on in the morning and wear it for as long as you like.
This has advantages:
Check out these special vests made to increase bone density:
BUT the one thing you want to be careful about is how heavy each weight is for the vest you buy. Some vests made for power lifters increase weights 1 lb at a time. Since you want to keep your weights 'balanced' that means you start at 2 pounds. A single increase will bring you to 4 pounds and at your next increase you are up to 6 pounds of weight! That is enough to cause someone over the age of 45 to tip or fall if they turn an ankle, step on uneven ground etc. See: Balance and Co-ordination exercises for those over age 50.
There are also some sport vests that use half pound weights. They should give you 4-5 weeks for increasing weights before you reach the 'tipping point'. (I bought one of these some years back but found that I reached my 'safe limit' too fast. This is one reason I have not advocated weight vests. They tend to be expensive and if you reach your top safety weight in a few weeks.....well, that is expensive. )
The manufacturer of a NEW weight vest, Hyper Vest Pro sent me a sample a few years ago. Note the company sells 2 kinds of weight vest, You want HYPER VEST PRO with 2 ounce weights.To see this item, click on the site's SHOP button HyperVest Pro
HyperVest Pro has many small pockets. When I first read about them I was concerned that the vest was being marketed to the ' athletic fitness crowd'. I wondered how the vest would feel, if an older person would be comfortable using it. BUT after wearing the Hyper Vest Pro for a week, I thought this vest could be useful for those of us wanting to increase our spinal bone density.
Why? Well, this vest, unlike those sold in sports shops, uses 1 ounce weights. If you begin with 2 ounces (2 of the one ounce weights) each placed on opposite sides of the vest for a single week ( When I did it, I hardly noticed any increase in weight but I knew that bone building osteoblasts respond to any increase in weight/stress).
You will want to start by wearing the vest for an hour a day. Then, the next week add another hour....and next week wear it for 3 hours. Then for 4 hours, 5 hours and finally all day. (You can wear this vest under a blouse or shirt without 'bulking'- though I often let it show and wore it over my clothes.)
Next add another set of 2 more weights (Be sure to keep weights balanced, left & right; front & back.) Go back to wearing the vest for a 1 hour. Then slowly increase the amount of time over the next few weeks. Then add more weight and repeat.
Here is a vest that can “increase weight and resistance' for months without reaching the point at which the weights might be a danger to your balance.(Getting too top heavy).
When I reached maximum weights, I put the vest away for a few months so my body would get used to no extra weight. Then several months later, I began all over again... two weights for one week, then increasing weights until I reached the maximum again. I have been doing this for years now as a way to build spinal bone density.
When you get to the company web site, click on the SHOP button at the top of the page. Hypervest Pro is on the 3rd (last) page of the Shopping section. (NOTE: You do NOT want their other vests eg, Hypervest FIT, Hypervest SXY or Hypervest COL (These use heavier weights and are for sports body building.) Keep scrolling until reach: HyperWear.com – PRO Weight Vest
And yes, tell them Kate from Osteopenia3 suggested the weight vest to you. Thanks.
I know that weight vests are not cheap. That is why I think it is important to find one that you can use for a long time. What I have done is after I have used the vest for several months, increasing the weight slowly over that time, I put the weight vest away for about 6 months. That allows my bones to get used to having no or little stress on them. Then I take out the HyperVest and start all over.
HyperVest Pro with its 2 ounce weights is useful for a longer period of time than sport vests that use 1/2 pound or 1 lb weights. (Sport vests get too heavy too fast.) When I thought about the cost, I realize that I spend as much or more on supplements in a single year! Supplement can not be reused but the hypervest can be used again on rotating basis for years. As long as I stop using it for a 7 -8 months so my body gets used to no extra weight, I can start all over again.
When you click on the company link, look for SHOP (weight vests are at the top of the SHOP drop down menu. Be sure to choose the PRO vest. The others use much heavier weights.) HyperWear.com