Exercise can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss. Exercise will benefit your bones no matter when you start, but you'll gain the most benefits if you start exercising regularly when you're young and continue to exercise throughout your life.
The short answer is no, osteoporosis cannot be completely reversed and is not considered curable, but there are a number of health and lifestyle adjustments you can make to improve bone loss. Your provider may also prescribe you medications to help rebuild and slow down bone loss.
You can reverse the loss of bone density with medical therapies that may slow, maintain, or even increase your bone density. Your doctor may recommend taking certain medications to prevent or treat bone loss, and some may even help you rebuild bone density.
Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, and climbing stairs, can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss.
Vitamin D supplementation may decrease bone turnover and increase bone mineral density. Several randomized placebo-controlled trials with vitamin D and calcium showed a significant decrease in fracture incidence. However, very high doses of vitamin D once per year may have adverse effects.
Just 30 minutes of exercise each day can help strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises, such as yoga, tai chi, and even walking, help the body resist gravity and stimulate bone cells to grow. Strength-training builds muscles which also increases bone strength.
The best bone building exercises
They include walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, playing tennis, and dancing. Resistance exercises – such as lifting weights – can also strengthen bones.
Weight-bearing aerobic activities
Examples include walking, dancing, low-impact aerobics, elliptical training machines, stair climbing and gardening. These types of exercise work directly on the bones in your legs, hips and lower spine to slow mineral loss.
Bone loss begins to occur at an approximate rate of 0.25% a year and is variable depending on many genetic and environmental factors. This may be considered the second stage towards osteopenia and/or osteoporosis. It is important to understand that this is a perfectly normal part of the aging process.
The first stage in osteoporosis occurs when your bone loss and bone formation occur at the same rate, meaning you no longer make more bone than you're losing. At this stage, there are no symptoms, and your bone density scores are above -1.
Osteoporosis can be prevented. Exercise, especially lifting weights, helps to maintain healthy bone mass. Healthy lifestyle choices, such as not smoking or misusing substances, also decrease your risk for developing osteoporosis.
While it's true that osteoporosis can cause bones to become brittle and weak, you can take steps to reduce your risk of bone fractures. With the right combination of treatments, you may even be able to reverse the effects of osteoporosis(opens in a new tab) and rebuild stronger bones.
The bone-building phase in young adults -- at its speediest -- takes three to four months, and it may take a lot longer if you have osteoporosis or are older. So you won't be seeing big changes on any bone density tests after your first week of working out. Bones change slowly -- but they do change.
Using the WHO definition of osteoporosis, the prevalence in the US of osteoporosis in Caucasian postmenopausal women based on the lowest bone mass at any site is estimated to be 14% of women aged 50-59 years, 22% of women aged 60-69 years, 39% women aged 70-79 years, and 70% women aged 80 years or greater(ref 3).
This is the newest bone-building medication to treat osteoporosis. It is given as an injection every month at your doctor's office and is limited to one year of treatment.
Regardless of being male, female or your goals, weight training has proven benefits of preventing or reversing Osteoporosis.
And yes, household chores also qualify as weight-bearing exercises. Dusting, sweeping and vacuuming can help your bones, and the added bonus is a clean house!
Repeated research has shown that, through weight training, men and women in their 60s and beyond can grow muscles as big and strong as an average 40-year-old.
Planking is a great exercise to strengthen your core and help support your spine, but it's just one of many osteoporosis-friendly exercises you can try.
Eating foods that have a lot of salt (sodium) causes your body to lose calcium and can lead to bone loss. Try to limit the amount of processed foods, canned foods and salt added to the foods you eat each day. To learn if a food is high in sodium, look at the Nutrition Facts label.
Potassium-rich foods such as bananas, tomatoes and orange juice could help fight osteoporosis in post-menopausal women by helping to reduce the level of calcium losses, report researchers from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).