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Winter Fall Prevention: 7 Exercises to Keep Your Bones Strong This Winter

Winter Fall Prevention: 7 Exercises to Keep Your Bones Strong This Winter

Bone, like muscle, is living tissue that needs to be maintained and built through nutrients and activity. Regular physical activity increases bone density in both younger and older people. This is particularly important for older adults who are more susceptible to bone loss and conditions like osteoporosis. But no matter what age you are, you can find exercise that will help you build strong bones, and we've got a list of some ideas below!

The Best Exercise and Fitness Products at Mountainside Medical Equipment

1. Tai Chi and Qi Gong

These Chinese martial arts are low impact, focused on perfecting slow, deliberate movements. They combine grace of form with mindfulness, incorporating meditation and breathing exercises in a practice that can help your circulation, balance, posture, and alignment. Studies also suggest that people who practice them regularly may enjoy more bone density; postmenopausal women who practiced tai chi 5 days a week, 45 minutes a day for a year, had a rate of bone loss 3 1/2 slower than women who didn't practice it.

2. Yoga

Yoga, a flexibility workout that can be adapted to anyone's physical condition, stretches your muscles to improve mobility and strength. It also improves posture, balance, coordination, concentration, and body awareness, which help to improve your mobility while also reducing fall risk. It incorporates mindfulness practices to improve breathing and reduce stress, and may also strengthen your bones! Women who do yoga regularly have been found in studies to have improved spinal bone density.

3. Walking

No matter where you are, walking is an effective option for a convenient workout with meaningful long-term results. Brisk walking is your best bet, but you can see improvements in your health, mobility, and strength from walking regularly at any pace. Studies show that regular walking for seniors can improve bone mass; post-menopausal women, for instance, reduced their chances of hip fractures by 40% just from walking 30 minutes a day! So whether you do it outside or indoors on a treadmill or other device, getting your steps in will make your winter safer.

4. Hiking

Bearing your own weight can increase bone density, and so can the impact on your legs when your feet hit the ground. The changing inclines involved in hiking can vary the impact on your body so you can use a full range of muscles in your hips, legs, and back. If you have access to safe, skill level-appropriate hiking trails in the winter, consult your doctor about hiking.

5. Resistance Strength Training

Most would assume that strength training is high-impact and punishing, but it doesn't have to be. Between calisthenics, yoga, resistance bands, and weight machines, there are plenty of moderate, adaptable options to strengthen muscle. Strength training at least twice a week is required to stimulate bone growth, so it's important to find ways to build strength that work with your body's needs.

6. Low-Impact Aerobics

Many fitness centers offer aerobics classes designed around the needs of older adults, and many of these are even built around improving strength and balance for fall prevention. There are almost limitless options: step classes, dance classes, water aerobics, Pilates, and many others. Find what works for you!

7. Shoveling Snow

In the right hands, shoveling snow is great exercise! However, there's potential injury risk from overexertion, so make sure you're doing it right. Some tips:

  • Warm Up: This is so important. For many people, snow shoveling is a first-thing-in-the-morning job. But it's best to wait 45 to 60 minutes after waking up before you shovel, and doing a warm-up exercise first. Consider walking a mile on a treadmill, or doing a couple sets of 12 to 15 knee grabs and several sets of arm circles.
  • Consider your form: Stay tall, bend at the knees (not the waist or back), lift with your legs, and keep your core engaged. Keep a wide grip on the shovel, with one hand on the handle and the other closer to the head. Don't twist and throw.
  • Know your snow: Adjust your shoveling to the type of snow. If you've got a driveway full of heavy, wet snow, don't try to lift too much on your shovel at once!
  • Dress and gear up properly: Wear layers, a hat, and gloves for protection from cold, and good boots that will provide stable traction. Use an ergonomically correct shovel with a curved handle to reduce stress on your spine.
  • Take breaks: Fatigue isn't a failing. It's a sign that your body needs a break. Let your heart rate settle, get warm, have a snack, stay hydrated. Listening to your body prevents more injuries than you might realize.

 The Best Exercise and Fitness Products at Mountainside Medical Equipment

Visit Mountainside Medical Equipment for the Best Exercise and Fitness Products

If you're trying to get more exercise in order to improve your mobility and build stronger bones, visit Mountainside Medical Equipment! We've got everything from vitamins to heart rate monitors to topical pain gels like Mountain Ice Sports Recovery Gel to get you active and on your feet. Click this link to visit our exercise and fitness products!

Please consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional before stopping or starting any medications, supplements, or health regimens. 

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