Osteopenia exercise can be done at home

Osteopenia exercise. Some people want to join a gym to do their bone building exercises.  They enjoy the social aspect of a gym and they use their time there as a 'stress buster' in their day. Others want to exercise outdoors. If you want the page about gym or outdoor Osteoprorosis, Osteopenia exercise go to bone density exercises

But there are those who do not want to join a gym. They do not want to go outside when it is  raining or cold. They enjoy their homes and if they are going to do any exercises, they need something they can do there.

I understand. So I have researched and put together an Osteopenia exercise program that you can do at home. You can do these exercises in your kitchen, the hallway, your bedroom or even in the living room. You do not need expensive equipment. You can start today if you like (as long as your health care provider has cleared you to start an exercise program).

Osteopenia exercise program at home:

Most people starting an exercise program are interested in strengthening their hips and spine. They are interested in strengthening hips and spine because these are the bones that were measured by the 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 disfiguring dowagers hump .

But Wrists are important too for any Osteopenia exercise program. If fact a  broken 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 too.

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. Do this about 10 times.

Osteopenia exercise: increasing hip bone density
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.  

Directions: Stand with one hand against a wall or counter for support. Lift you leg straight out to the side. (Don't force it; just go as far as 'feeling the tension'.)   Now bring your leg back down.  Next extend you leg 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 do the same with your other leg. This Osteopenia exercise for your hips takes only a few minutes. ( I have done leg extensions waiting for water to boil or while washing up the breakfast dishes.)  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).   

When this Osteopenia exercise becomes very easy, you can add an ankle weight or use an exercise band to increase resistance. (Remember that your Osteoblasts only respond to 'additional stress', so adding some resistance becomes important in any Osteopenia exercise program.)          

To read more about using ankle weights go to: Ankle weights and Osteopenia and to get help in finding good ankle weights at reasonable prices go to: Buying ankles weights  

Note:I learned of these ankles weight exercises from the publications of researchers at Tufts University.

Osteopenia exercise: Spine
Here is an exercise recommended by Dr. Sydney Bonnick, director of Osteoporosis services of the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. You can do before you go to bed at night or before an afternoon nap. It also makes a nice 'tension break' during the day.                                                           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 significant other to help you by holding your ankles. )   

Now, slowly raise your head and shoulders. 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 weight vest that you use for a few hours each day.)

Another important practice 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 this 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 before or after each meal.

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.

Balance and coordination.I would be remiss if I did not urge you work on your balance and coordination. These skills are important - especially for anyone over age 50.   Why? As we age, there are subtle changes in our balance. These changes begin at age 35 and they often go unnoticed - until we fall and break a bone. 

You will find balance and coordination exercise at:  Osteopenia exercise for balance and co-ordination 

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