The Best Exercises For Bone Health
- Osteoporosis is a bone disorder, that makes bones brittle and weak.
- Physical activity exercise is important in the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Yoga is an effective way to boost physical activity, and provides numerous physical and psychological benefits.
- Cat and cow pose, child pose, and mountain pose are a few examples of yoga that helps in bone strengthening.
Your skeletal frame does much more than support your body. Your bones are responsible for protecting vital organs in your body; for example, the rib cage and sternum protect your lungs and heart from any form of impact.
In addition, the spinal vertebrae and skull protect the entire central nervous system. Furthermore, your bones serve as anchor points for your muscles and also produce red blood cells, thus maintaining your circulatory system.
However, your bone tissue gets weaker and more brittle as you age. While slight degeneration is normal, regular exercise can go a long way in keeping your bones healthy and young.
In this blog, we will look at some common disorders that affect people who neglect their bone health, and the best exercises for bone health.
Watch out for osteoporosis
One of the most common bone disorders affecting people is osteoporosis. Patients who are suffering from osteoporosis struggle with brittle bones. As the name suggests, osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become weak and brittle.
As the disease continues to progress, the patient keeps losing bone mass, thus having a low bone density. This causes the bones to break or fracture very easily. Even simple tasks like bending over to pick something up can damage your bones.
Although this bone disease can affect anyone, certain people are predisposed to this illness.
Here are a few risk factors of osteoporosis:
· Diet: Calcium and phosphorus are essential minerals that make up bones. Any deficiencies in these can lead to osteoporosis.
· Exercise: People having a more sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop osteoporosis as they age. Regular exercise helps keep your bones strong and illness away.
· Smoking and drinking: Both these habits are considered vices and for good reasons as well! Cigarette smoke, when inhaled, hinders the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to osteoporosis.
A For Arthritis
Arthritis is a painful condition that is characterized by the swelling of the joints. When a person suffers from arthritis, their cartilage gets worn over time. Also, the soft lining of the bones that is responsible for the smooth movement of the joint gets eroded. This causes the bones of the joint to rub against each other, which leads to pain, swelling, tenderness, and limited range of motion.
Arthritis usually has three forms, which are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is also called wear and tear arthritis. As the name suggests, this type is caused because of frequent use and degeneration of the joint. It commonly occurs in the knees, hands, and hips. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks the joints in your body, thus injuring your joints.
Out of all the diseases that affect the bones, these are the most common ones. Sounds daunting, right? Fear not for these ailments can be avoided through helpful changes in your lifestyle.
Regularly doing exercises that strengthen the bones can mitigate these risks. Read on to find out more about these exercises!
1. Cat And Cow For The Win!
The cat and cow pose is a popular yoga exercise that works wonders for your hip and spine. This stretch was originally used to promote mobility of the spine and the hips; however, it can also be used to strengthen these joints.
Here’s how to do it correctly!
1. Start by getting on all fours on a yoga mat.
2. Make sure your hands are beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath the hips while keeping a regular breathing.
3. Exhale and pull your core muscles in. This pose is called the cat pose and hold this for 3-4 seconds.
4. Now return back to the original position.
5. Inhale and lift your chin up, widen your chest, and press your shoulders back.
6. This pose is called the cow pose, and hold it for 3-4 seconds.
7. Now return back to the original position.
Try doing 2-3 sets of 7-8 repetitions for better spine and hip health.
2. Go, Wrist Power!
As mentioned before, arthritis most commonly affects the hands, wrists, knees, and hips. The following exercise helps with those stiff wrists. Compromised wrist motion can hinder your daily activities.
Fortunately for you, there are several low-intensity exercises out there that you can try. The wrist rotation exercise mentioned below is one of our favorites!
Be sure to give it a try.
1. Start by sitting cross-legged on a flat surface with your back straight.
2. If you find that difficult, you can take the support of a wall.
3. Clasp both your hands together and make sure they are in front of your chest.
4. Once done, rotate both your wrists clockwise 5-10 times and repeat the same in the anticlockwise direction.
5. Try and keep a steady pace for your rotations. Doing these too fast can cause your wrist more harm than good.
The following exercise works and strengthens the muscles and tendons around the wrist joint, thereby reinforcing the whole joint.
Try doing 2-3 sets of clockwise and anticlockwise rotations to get that wrist power back!
3. Embrace the child within
Yoga is filled with exercises that are gentle but do wonders for your bone health. One such yoga pose is called the Balasana or the child pose.
It is convenient, efficient, and easy to do. Here’s how you do it correctly.
1. Start by sitting on your ankles on a yoga mat with your arms by your side.
2. Now, take a deep breath in and raise your hands above your head.
3. Hold this position for a second or two.
4. Exhale and bend forward touching your palms, elbows, and forehead to the mat.
5. Hold this position for 3-4 seconds while keeping steady breathing.
6. Return back to the original position and repeat the process 5-7 times.
Try doing 3 sets of this exercise for better spinal health. Although this exercise is gentle, if you are suffering from osteoporosis, this can be dangerous for you. Talk to your healthcare provider before you include this asana in your exercise regimen.
Reach For The Mountain Peak!
The extended mountain pose is a great asana to mobilize the spine and strengthen the muscles that support it. This pose is super effective in relieving any stress you’ve been feeling in your spin, not to mention it is convenient and simple to do. Here’s how to do the extended mountain pose correctly!
1. Start by sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat, preferably. If one is not available, you can sit on the floor.
2. Remember that you keep your back straight and do not hunch forward.
3. If maintaining this posture is too difficult, then take the support of a wall.
4. After getting into this position, breathe in and raise both your arms up above your head with your palms facing each other.
5. While doing this, make sure to stretch your spine upwards while relaxing your scapula and shoulder joint.
6. Hold this pose for 3-4 seconds and feel the stretch in your back.
7. After this, exhale and lower your hands to the starting position.
8. Repeat the process 5-7 times.
As mentioned above, this exercise is a good way to strengthen the spine and the shoulder. However, as gentle as it may seem, this exercise is also a bit risky for patients who are already suffering from osteoporosis. Hence, talk to your healthcare provider before you include this asana in your exercise regimen.
Embrace your butterflies
The butterfly pose is one of the most convenient and helpful exercises for spinal health and hip mobility. Here’s how to do it properly!
1. Start by sitting on the ground with your leg stretched out.
2. Now, fold your leg inward so that the soles of your legs touch each other.
3. Hold your ankles and pull your feet towards your body.
4. Sit tall and try to push your thighs toward the ground.
5. Hold this pose for 10-15 seconds before relaxing.
Try doing 3 sets of this exercise for better spinal health and hip mobility. Although this exercise is gentle, if you are suffering from osteoporosis, this can be dangerous for you. Talk to your doctor before doing this exercise.
After reading so far, we hope that you have grasped all the functions of the skeletal tissue in your body. It is of utmost importance that you maintain their strength and well-being to avoid any deleterious effects.
Exercising regularly, having a healthy diet, and quitting vices like smoking and drinking go a long way in keeping unwanted bone diseases at bay. So, try and include these gentle yet effective workouts in your exercise regimen for stronger and healthier bones!
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Our team of experts frequently monitors developments in the health and wellness field, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.
Aug, 01 2023
Fact checked By
Blessing Ifunanya Maduelosi