Osteopenia exercise can be done at home.

Some people like to go to a gym for their Osteopenia exercise. They enjoy the social aspect of a gym and they use it as a 'stress buster' in their day.

Others want to exercise outdoors. Sun, rain or snow - it does not matter. They like being outside. It invigorates them.

If you want the page about gym or outdoor Osteopenia exercise go to bone density exercises

But there are 'homebodies' who do not want to join a gym. They do not want to go outside when it is cold or rainy. They enjoy their homes and if they are going to do any Osteopenia exercise, they need something they can do in their kitchen, living room or bedroom.

I understand. I have occasional 'homebody' stages. So I did some research and put together an Osteopenia exercise program that can be done at home. You can do this in your kitchen, your hallway, your bedroom or living room. You do not need expensive equipment. You can start today if you like( as long as your health care provider has said it is OK for your to start an exercise program).

Most people starting an Osteopenia exercise program are interested in strengthening their hips and spine. They are intrested in hips and spine because these were measured in their dexa scan.

They know that a broken hip can mean surgery and long recuperation. They may also know that 24% who break a hip after age 50, die within a year. And they may have seen persons whose spinal fractures have led to dowagers hump .

But Wrists are important too in any Osteopenia exercise program. If fact a wrist is often the first fracture for someone with bone loss. They slip or trip and put a hand out to break the fall and their wrist fractures. So it is important to exercise our wrists.

We need an Osteopenia exercies program for hips, spine and wrists.

Osteopenia exercise program to do at home:

  1. Balance and coordination.I would be remiss if I did not urge you work on your balance and coordination. These skills are important. They are especially important for anyone over age 50 since as we age, there are subtle changes in our balance. These changes are so small that they often go unnotice - until someone falls and breaks a bone. These balance exercises can keep you from falling. You will find balance and coordination exercises on this Osteopenia exercise page. If you do not check these exercises now, I urge you to visit the page later.

  2. Osteopenia exercise: hips
    Kathleen Little, Ph.D. who has been an exercise physiologist at the Metro-Health Medical Center in Cleveland suggests hip kicks to harden your hips.

    In the beginning use just your own body weight when you do hip kicks.

    • Stand with one hand against a wall or counter for support.
    • Lift you leg straight out to the side as far as you can. (Don't force it; just go as far as 'feeling the tension'.)
    • Now bring your leg back down.
    • Now extend you leg out to the back. Again keep you leg straight and do not force it. Bring your leg back and now extend it out in front of you.
    • Repeat these 3 movements about 8 times. Then turn and do the other leg.

    This Osteopenia exercise for your hips takes only a few minutes. I have done leg extensions waiting for my decaf to perk in the morning or while washing up the breakfast dishes. (Yes, I need to turn to the side to do the front kicks but I just turn and do them.)

    Sometimes my dog thinks this is a game and so I turn it into one. I dance around the kitchen doing leg extensions (usually holding on to something for balance). It is fun. Sometimes I do hip extensions more than once a day. Also,I have added extra hip extensions to my count and I often do 10-12 at a time.

    When this Osteopenia exercise becomes very easy, you can add an ankle weight or use an exericse band to increase resistance. (Remember that osteoblasts only respond to 'additional stress', so adding some resistance becomes important in any Osteopenia exercise program.)To read more about using ankle weights as part of your exercise program go to: Ankle weights and Osteopenia and to get help in finding good ankle weights at reasonalbe prices go to: Buying ankles weights By the way, I learned of these ankles weight exercises from the publications of researchers at Tufts Univeristy.

  3. Osteopenia exercise: Spine
    This is an exercise recommended by Dr. Sydney Bonnick, director of Osteoporosis services of the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. It is something you can do when you go to bed at night or before an afternoon nap. It also makes a nice 'tension break' during the day if you want to use the living room.
    • Lie on your stomach with a pillow under your pelvis.Place your arms and hands palm side up along the sides of your body.

      You'll need to anchor your feet. If you have a bar at the bottom of the bed that is good; other people do use the living room and anchor their feet under a sofa. Of course you can always ask your signficant other to help you by holding your ankles.

    • Now, slowly raise your head and shoulders upwards. Then slowly lower them.
    • Do the movement gently. Do not push yourself. If you feel any pain, stop. You do not want to hurt yourself.
    • Do the movement a few times. Then rest a moment and get up. (Note: if you have significant bone loss in your spine do not do this exercise without asking your health care provider. You do not want to cause a stress fracture. You might be better off getting a weighted vest that you use for a few hours each day.)

  4. Osteopenia exericse: wrist
    This is easy and fun. Again, it can be done in the kitchen. Sit in a chair and support your forearm on your thigh. Let your wrist extend just a little past your knee and let your hand dangle.

    Now hold a 1 or 2 lb. can of food in your hand and bring your wrist up so your hand forms a straight line with your forearm. Lower your wrist and repeat. Work at this until you can do the movement about 10 times. After this is no longer a challenge, you can add more weight or use a resistance band.

    Another great wrist strengthener is to stand about 18-29 inches from a wall with your feet about 10 inches apart. Put your palms on the wall about about shoulder height. Lean forward until your forehead touches the wall. Now push yourself back to your original position. Again, do this about 10 times.

  5. Another important exercise is rising from your chair without using your hands.
    Start with a straight chair. If you can not rise without using your hands, find a chair with a higher seat or add a phone book to raise your body higher. When you can rise easily, use a chair with a lower seat.

    Be sure to use a chair with arms so you have something to grab if you need it. But work at it until you are getting up without using your hands or arms all the time. This exercise strengthens your legs and your hips. And for practice you can rise, sit, rise several times brgore or after each meal.

  6. There are other things you can add to your home based Osteopenia exercise program.
    I often put music on and I dance. I tap dance, polka or make up my own dances.

    Some Osteopenia exercise research has used 'jumping jacks' to good effect. I find these a bit too hard on an old ankle injury but I do include a stomping, hard stepping and a few small jumps in my dancing. It is great fun and certainly warms up my body for the hip and wrist exercises listed above.

Summary:

You can create an Osteopenia exercise program to do at home. Practice the hip, wrist and back exercises every other day or three times a week. You can dance every day!

If you want to consider other forms, go to Osteopenia exercises. And don't forget those balance and coordination exercises.

Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D. with Sarah Wernick, Ph. D. Strong Women, Strong Bones .G. P. Putnam.1999.


Sources used:
Editors of Prevention Magazine. Training the Body to Cure Itself. Rodale Press. 1992.

Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D. with Sarah Wernick, Ph. D. Strong Women, Strong Bones .G. P. Putnam. 1999.


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