Things to Know Before Starting Exercise

If you have osteoporosis, here’s what you should know to exercise safely:

  • If you are 40 years or older and have not been exercising, you need clearance from your doctor before starting a program.
  • Wear appropriate attire. If you’re going to be outdoors, wear sunblock.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Start slowly, cross-train, and have exercise partners.
  • If you have osteoporosis or other health problems, a physical therapist can help you plan your exercise program.
  • You need to take adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D plus prescribed medications.
  • Participate in safe weight-bearing exercises such as walking or stair-climbing.
  • Lift weights no greater than 10 to 20 pounds with arms.
  • Maintain good posture—an upright spinal position.
  • Don’t do any movements that involve forward bending or twisting of your trunk, including situps and toe touches. Avoid stationary bicycles and rowing machines.
  • Don’t participate in contact sports.
  • Avoid activities that increase your chances of falling, including skiing, skating, contact sports, and high impact aerobics.