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Exercise Can Help Ease Osteoporosis, But Doctors Say Use Caution

NY1—July 13, 2008

More than 40 million Americans either have osteoporosis or are in danger of developing the disease. Most doctors agree exercise is one of the best answers to improving the condition or reducing risk, but some workout plans may do more damage than good. NY1 Health and Fitness Reporter Kafi Drexel has tips on what specialists say you may want to try and what you may want to avoid.

Many of the Americans who have osteoporosis or osteopenia turn to exercise as a means to improve their conditions, but not all exercise is helpful. In fact, some can be downright harmful to the already delicate bones of those affected with either condition.

Most experts will agree that exercises that force the spine to bend or twist, like sit-ups or certain movements in yoga, can cause the spine to compress and possibly fracture any weakened bones. Exercises that are high-impact on joints, like running or jumping, can also be bad for bones.

However, that's not to say that all exercises are not indicated for those with osteoporosis or osteopenia. According to Hospital for Special Surgery physical therapist Heather Williams, PT, DPT, there are many exercises that would help someone with either condition.

"You definitely want to build your upper and lower extremities' strength and your core strength safely," Williams said. "Walking, low-impact type aerobics, these are all very helpful types of exercises."

As always, be sure to consult with your doctor if you have any questions about your current workout regimen.

Read the full story at ny1.com.


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