Osteopenia exercises: prevent fractures

Your Osteopenia exercises should include:

  1. Balance exercise
  2. Coordination exercise and
  3. Bone density improvement exercises.

Fracture is the greatest danger for anyone with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis.  Falls are the main cause of fractures.  If you have lost bone density, you need to prevent falls.   Balance exercise and coordination exercise are the best ways for you to avoid falling.

Special note: The older you are, the more important it is to do a few minutes of these exercises each day.  Remember that we lose 1% of our natural balance every year after age 35.  (So do a quick calculation. How much natural balance have you lost so far?).

Some advantages of these exercises:They do not require  special equipment, They do not take much time.  You can practice a few while going about your daily  activities.They are fun and....They work! You can retake the 'balance test' and see your improvement.

Of course you may be wondering if you really need balance  or coordination exercise. So here is a short test that will give you your answer.  (For safety sake, it is good to ask a friend or relative to be with you during these tests.)

Osteopenia exercises: Balance test #1

  1. Go into the kitchen. Get a straight back chair and a clock. Put your clock where you can see it easily or ask a friend to time you. Stand next to a counter. Put one hand on the counter and the other on the back of a tall straight back chair. [Be sure that the chair has enough stability that it will not tip if you lean your weight on its back. }
  2. Now, check the time. Next bend your left knee a bit so your left foot is off the floor. Take your hands off the counter and chair so you are standing on one foot. See how long you can stand on one foot without having to touch anything to keep your balance. If you begin to topple, hold on and then check the clock to see how long you lasted. Write down how many minutes or seconds you were able to stand on one foot during this first balance exercise.
  3. Now do the same exercise but raise your right foot off the floor. Again, write down how long you were able to stand on one foot.

That is it. How did you do on your Osteopenia balance test #!?  If you results were 20 seconds , that iis good; 40 is better and 60 seconds shows you shave good balance.

Osteopenia exercises test of balance #2

  1. Do the same thing only this time bend your knee far enough that your shin is parallel to the floor. Again, time how long you can stand on one foot without touching anything.
  2. Switch to the other foot. Then put the chair away and get ready for your last exercise test.

Osteopenia exercises: 3rd balance test

  1. Toe Walking. Go to the far end of the kitchen counter. Now walk to the other end of the counter on your toes. If you need to touch the counter for balance or come down off your toes, stop. How far did you get before having to stop?
  2. Heel Walking. Now do the same thing only this time walk on your heels so your toes do not touch the floor.
  3.  Cross-over walking. Stand facing the counter. Be sure you are about one foot away from the edge so you can move your feet easily and still grab the counter if you need it to keep your balance. Now walk sideways, crossing your right leg in front of your left until you have gone the length of the counter. If you lose balance, stop and jot down about how far you got. Then come back crossing your left leg in front of your right.

OK. That is the end of the Osteopenia exercises balance tests.  how did you do? If you had no problem whatsoever with these exercises and were able to hold your foot off the ground for about 1 minute and still keep your balance, then you have good balance. You need only a few minutes reviewing balance exercise when you do your Osteopenia exercises.

If you had difficulty with any of the exercises, you need practice balance exercise twice a day until you can meet the 1 minute threshold. This is important.  If your bones are thin and you fall, you are more likely to suffer a fracture so preventing falls is a key to avoiding fractures.

NOTE: You may want to get a book about yoga and use some of the yoga balance exercises, such as the stork or the tree. Just be sure that you do not do any yoga pose that asks you to bend forward. See: Yoga Exercise warning

An even safer practice that has been shown to build bone at the same time as increasing your balance is Tai Chi.  See: Tai Chi for balance and better bones.

Of course you do not need to take up any formal program. You can just take time and do balance exercise every day..... while brushing your teeth, while waiting in line at the cash register or at the bus station. Just be sure you are near something you can grab if you start to tip over..