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Posture & balance exercises

Another important component of an osteoporosis exercise program is postural and balance exercises. These exercises can help improve balance and posture, and improve movement in everyday activities. These exercises can also help to increase muscle strength and decrease the risk of falls and broken bones.

Balance exercises that help strengthen leg muscles and challenge your balance, such as Tai Chi, can decrease your risk of falls.

Posture exercises that improve your posture and reduce rounded or "sloping" shoulders can help you decrease the risk of fractures, especially in the spine.

To keep proper alignment, avoid the following positions or movements:

  • Having a slumped, head-forward posture
  • Bending forward from the waist
  • Twisting of the spine to a point of strain
  • Twisting the trunk and bending forward when doing activities such as coughing, sneezing, vacuumingor lifting
  • Anything that requires you to reach far. An example is reaching up for items on high shelves when you could lose your balance and fall
  • Don't lift or carry objects, packages or babies weighing more than 10 pounds. If you're unsure about how much you can lift, check with your healthcare provider or physical therapist

Improving your posture can also help to limit the amount of kyphosis, or forward curve of the upper back, that can result from broken bones in the spine. Knowing how to move, sit and stand properly can help you stay active and prevent broken bones and disability.

Stand tall

Having good posture is important and can help you avoid putting stress on your spine. Good posture involves keeping your head held high, chin in, shoulders back, upper back flat and lower spine arched. To practice a good standing posture:

  • Stand with your head, shoulders and rear end against a wall, with your heels two to three inches from the wall.
  • Pull in your chin and tighten your abdomen and rear end
  • Press your back against the wall, leaving a small space behind the curve of your lower back
Adapted from MayoClinic.com, Exercises for Osteoporosis

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