Patricia Spergl, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, Nurse Clinician at the Osteoporosis Prevention Center at HSS, offers the following advice about exercise and building bone strength:
- Exercise recommendations for building bone strength are two-fold. One part focuses on weight-bearing activity, such as walking, running, elliptical trainer. Specific recommendations include 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity per day, 5 days per week.
- The second part to help in building bone strength is strengthening exercises, which include weights and resistance bands. These strengthening exercises should be performed on both the upper and lower extremities twice weekly.
- Balance exercises are important to help improve balance and to decrease the risk of falls. Balance exercises may be performed at home. In addition, many fitness centers may offer balance exercise programs, such as Tai Chi classes.
- In addition, certain exercises may be contraindicated if a person has osteoporosis, due to increased fracture risk. It may be recommended for a patient with newly-diagnosed osteoporosis to have a physical therapy evaluation in order to advise the patient on appropriate and safe exercises.
Hospital for Special Surgery offers Tai Chi classes as well as an OsteoFitness class and Pilates for Better Bones. These workshop series are designed to guide patients with osteopenia or osteoporosis in appropriate exercises and to help build bone strength.