Table of Contents
This video blog explores the five major components of an osteoporosis exercise treatment program.
I have also invited a few clients to talk about their experiences with their exercise programs.
Finally, you will learn how to increase the effectiveness of your osteoporosis exercise treatment program by incorporating a simple change.
Osteoporosis Exercise Treatment Program
In the meantime, here is a quick summary of those five components. An osteoporosis exercise program should address these areas:
- Posture. Good posture is essential to bone health and your program should help you improve your posture.
- Strength Training: When you are strong you are better able to catch yourself in the event of a fall. Besides, it feels great when you are strong!
- Balance: As well as strengthening your bones, your program should look to improve your balance – this is essential to reducing your chance of a fall.
- Cardiovascular: Weight bearing exercises challenge your bones.
- Flexibility: Flexibility exercises help you move with good body mechanics without increasing the risk of a fall.
Today’s tutorial is going to cover the five components of comprehensive osteoporosis exercise treatment program.
Yesterday’s tutorial (in this seven part educational series on osteoporosis and exercise) looked at the four key principles to building bone when looking at an exercise program, as well as the two key foundations, deep breathing and activating your deep abdominal muscles. We’re going to move on today and look at the five key components.
(If you have not already signed up to receive this free five-day email course I encourage you to register to learn more about osteoporosis and exercise.)
An exercise program is comprised of five key comprehensive components. The first one is posture.
As we spoke about in the first tutorial on Stop the Stoop, the importance of keeping your head aligned over your shoulder, over your hip whenever you’re doing your exercises is so very important.
We have exercises that specifically target muscles that need to be strengthened or stretched. If your posture is not at its optimum to allow you to get back into your best postural alignment.
Ken, my client speaks:
Another important aspect that I found and surprising, was the importance of form in exercise.
Now when I was young, I lifted weights because of competitive swimming and done various other forms of exercise, but I never thought of posture as part of it. I just took it for granted.
I came to learn, of course, that my posture wasn’t as perfect as I thought it was, and that, that was in fact important. Before I thought that, well it wasn’t a big deal if you were a little off, and I learned that you could hurt yourself if your posture wasn’t right.
I think that’s one of the things I learned from Margaret directly, and from the MelioGuide website because it deals with that, is that you have to exercise for your posture initially and then that postural change has to be maintained through all the subsequent exercise forms. Not only within her exercises, but within all forms of exercise including activities of daily living.
And so I think that was a major change for me and a very important one on a permanent basis.
2. Strength Training
After good alignment, the second key component of a comprehensive exercise program becomes strength training. You will be given specific exercises to work on which target specific bones and muscles and an exercise schedule so that you know how to gradually incorporate your strength training which build over a 12-week period.
Week by week, you’ll be gradually increasing the exercises that you do and certainly you can progress at your own pace. The 12-weeks is a guidance that we provide.
3. Balance Training
You know that most people don’t worry about their bones, until they fall and break something. So the third key component of a comprehensive exercise program is balance training.
Josephine, one of my clients, speaks:
Probably one of the most surprising elements to me was the whole issue of balance. I had always felt that balance was not one of my strong suits, and so it’s been interesting over the last six months doing some of the balance exercises just to see that, that’s actually something you can work on, and that I’ve noticed quite a considerable improvement.
When I look at it now, today, I certainly progressed over the six months in terms of that. So just my day to day living, I can feel a difference in that sense, so that’s one thing that really surprised me.
4. Cardiovascular Exercise
When you’re given a diagnosis of osteoporosis or low bone density, you start worrying about your bones. But we can’t neglect other parts of our body that are going to actually effect our quality of life, and that’s our cardiovascular system.
The cardiovascular program is the fourth key component to a comprehensive exercise program.
However, instead of just giving you recommendations in terms of target heart rate and exercise time, I also give you specific advice based on your fracture risk as to which weight bearing exercises that are also cardiovascular exercises.
As I covered in one of the earlier tutorials, Stop the Stoop, we looked at how certain exercises that improve our range of motion could increase our risk of a spinal fracture.
So that’s where the fifth component of a safe and effective comprehensive exercise program comes in, flexibility. It doesn’t help you build bone, but safe and effective flexible exercises help you to move with good body mechanics without putting yourself at risk for fracture.
The MelioGuide program, Exercise for Better Bones, covers all of the five components of a comprehensive exercise program, but it starts with you, low, moderate, and high fracture risk.
Your activity levels are classified into four different categories, beginner for someone just starting out, active, athletic, and elite.
So within those four components of activity levels and three fracture risk levels, there are nine programs to work from and we find the one that best suits where you’re at today. That’s all for today’s tutorial and we’ll see you tomorrow on getting started.
If you enjoyed the Beginner Stronger Bones, Stronger Body sample video on Day 3 but found it easy, I invite you to try the Beginner/Active Level video sample.
If you found the Beginner Stronger Bones, Stronger Body sample video on Day 3 to be just right for you, I invite you to view the Beginner/Active Level as a future goal to work towards.
Improve Your Osteoporosis Exercise Treatment Program
Today I am going to discuss how to make your osteoporosis exercise treatment program more effective. You can make small changes to your osteoporosis exercises and make them more effective.
One such modification is to vary the cadence or pace of your exercises. Cadence is the speed at which you do an exercise. It is one more variable that you can play with in your exercise program and improve bone density. And doing it properly can save you money, too!
Why is varying cadence important to an osteoporosis exercise treatment program? There are three benefits.
- Your osteoporosis exercises can be more effective. Activating your muscles causes stress on your bones and this stress stimulates your bones in a good way. By varying the cadence of your exercises, you stimulate the muscles in new and novel ways. Researchers have shown that constantly challenging your muscles with new, interesting and stimulating exercises is much better than performing the same routine over and over again. Like your mind, your muscles need stimulation. They respond to new and novel patterns of loading.
- You can save money. You can challenge your muscles in new ways with heavier weights. However, by varying the speed at which you do your exercises, you achieve the same goal but save the expense of purchasing new weights.
- Your exercise routine will be more fun and interesting. Mixing up the speed of your osteoporosis exercises will keep you more engaged in your program and increase the chance that you will stick with your program.
Change the Cadence (Tempo) of Your Exercises
You can make your osteoporosis exercise treatment program more challenging (and more effective) by changing the speed of your exercises.
One of the key foundations in the MelioGuide Exercise for Better Bones Program is to introduce new, novel exercises to your body. Even though you may not want or be able to move up to the next level of exercises can create a novel experience for your muscles and bones by changing your tempo.
In the video demonstration I show you how to incorporate variations into the weighted squat exercise and the bicep curl exercise. This provides you with an example for the lower body and the upper body.
I introduce different tempos for you to explore:
- 2-1-2 tempo (in this example the rest time is not counted)
- 1-4-1-4 tempo (this example takes the hold time and the rest time into consideration)
Give these a try and let me know what you think! Remember you can achieve a lot with your osteoporosis exercise treatment program in your home without having to invest in expensive equipment of a gym membership. Varying the speed of your exercises is another way to effectively keep your bones stimulated.
Tomorrow’s Lesson • A Prescriptive Osteoporosis Exercise Program
Tomorrow we will get into the detail of the Exercise for Better Bones prescriptive exercise program. You will also hear from two of my patients and I will introduce you to my home workout video, Stronger Bones, Stronger Body.