Harvard Women's Health Watch

Effective exercises for osteoporosis

Staying active can strengthen bones and preserve mobility.

If your doctor has recently diagnosed you with osteoporosis, or if you've already had a fracture, you might be avoiding exercise for fear of breaking another bone. Yet staying active is exactly what you should be doing right now.

"If you've already had one fracture, the risk of an additional fracture is very high, so you have to do everything possible to lessen the likelihood that will happen. You need to try to increase bone density and prevent falls, and that's where exercise is so important," stresses Dr. David Slovik, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Exercise reduces your risk not only of falling, but also of fracturing a bone if you do fall. A recent analysis published in BMJ found that programs of balance, strength, and resistance training reduced the odds of falls resulting in fractures by more than 60%.

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