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Staying Active with Osteoporosis
Deborah T Gold, PhD posted:
Many people are able to live well with osteoporosis by making healthy lifestyle choices and maintaining a fracture prevention program. Unfortunately, other people have broken one or more bones because of osteoporosis. These individuals face additional challenges and have a greater chance of breaking more bones than those without broken bones. Whether you have osteoporosis or are taking care of a person with the disease, it's helpful to understand the many complex issues of this disease that influence a person's quality of life.

Staying active with osteoporosis

People who have broken a bone due to osteoporosis may avoid their regular daily activities because of the fear of breaking more bones. In doing so, people with osteoporosis may abandon activities that are essential to their well-being. Others stop exercising to avoid the risk of breaking a bone. Here are some tips to help you or the person you care for, to stay active, exercise and enjoy life:

1. Break activities into smaller time and effort segments.

2. Work with a physical therapist (PT) to develop a safe exercise program. A PT can help people at all levels learn exercises that are safe and appropriate for their individual needs. Exercise can help individuals prevent more bone loss, improve posture, prevent falls and can have a positive impact on a person's mental health.

3. Take a tai chi class. Tai chi can help people improve their balance, prevent falls and improve a person's mental well-being. Let your instructor know that you have osteoporosis as well any other concerns you may have.

4. Learn how to move safely and prevent falls. Taking steps to protect your spine and prevent falls is essential for preventing broken bones. Contact the National Osteoporosis Foundation ( or 800-223-9994) for comprehensive information on these topics.

5. Make sure to get outside often. Do activities like shopping or going to a movie during less crowded times. Stop and take as many breaks as you need.

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socalmaria responded:
Not clear how doing activities like shopping or a movie during less crowded times helps. Does it help falls somehow? Or is this advice for the really frail who move slowly? Please clarify.
bonebabe replied to socalmaria's response:
Anything you do on your feet is weight-bearing and helps build bone and balance.
Deborah T Gold, PhD replied to socalmaria's response:
Great question. There is no doubt that the fewer the people around, the less likely it is to fall. Someone in a crowded mall can easily bump into you just as you are picking up your foot to turn. Instead of continuing to walk, you can just land on the ground and break a wrist or a hip. This is not just advice for those who are frail and fragile... it is sound advice for all of us.

If you have no risk for osteoporosis and fracture, this may not be necessary. But if you do, protect yourself as much as you can by carefully choosing where you're going and at what time. The payoff in fracture avoidance can be huge!
socalmaria replied to Deborah T Gold, PhD's response:

Thank you for your clarification. I appreciated your respectful response.

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