Exercises for Healthy Bones

Exercise is an important step towards protecting your bones, as it helps protect your spine, slows the rate of bone loss, and builds muscle strength, which can prevent falls.

Exercise is recommended for all people with osteoporosis, even people who have had a spine or hip fracture. If you are new to exercise, talk to your doctor before starting any type of program. Consider speaking to a physical therapist or kinesiologist to get advice on exercises that are right for you.
Experts recommend 4 types of exercise:

Strength Training

Frequency: At least 2 days/week

  • Exercises for legs, arms, chest, shoulders, back
  • Use body weight against gravity, bands, or weights*
  • 8 – 12 repetitions per exercise

Balance Exercises

Frequency: Every day

  • Tai Chi, dancing, walking on your toes or heels
  • Have a sturdy chair, counter, or wall nearby, and try (from easier to harder): shift weight from heels to toes while standing; stand heel to toe; stand on one foot; walk on a pretend line

Posture Awareness

Frequency: Every day

  • Gently tuck your chin in and draw your chest up slightly
  • Imagine your collarbones are wings – spread your wings slightly without pulling your shoulders back

Aerobic Physical Activity

Frequency: At least 150 mins/week

  • Bouts of 10 mins or more, moderate to vigorous intensity*
  • You should feel like your heart is beating faster and you are breathing harder
  • You might be able to talk while doing it, but not sing

*If you have a spine fracture, consult a physical therapist/kinesiologist before using weights, and choose moderate, not vigorous aerobic physical activity

Too Fit to Fall or Fracture: One Page Guide

This one page guide is packed with useful information to get you started thinking about ways you can safely and effectively exercise.

See what the experts recommend along with real life examples of what you can do and what you should avoid.

Are You Too Fit To Fracture?

New multicomponent exercise recommendations combine muscle strengthening and balance training as a means of reducing falls and resulting fractures for people living with osteoporosis.

What is Too Fit To Fracture?

Too Fit to Fracture is a series of exercise recommendations for people with osteoporosis or spine fractures. It was developed by expert consensus using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) method, which is endorsed by the World Health Organization and the Cochrane Collaboration, to determine the quality of evidence for each recommendation in the existing scientific literature. The strength of the recommendations (strong, conditional, or no recommendation) and the direction (for or against) took into consideration the quality of the available evidence, the balance between the benefits and risks associated with exercise, and the patient groups’ values and preferences. The Too Fit to Fracture expert panel included researchers and clinicians from Australia, Canada, Finland, and the USA, as well as partners from Osteoporosis Canada.

Video Series on Exercise and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis Canada is excited to announce a video series on exercise and osteoporosis for Osteoporosis Month, developed in partnership with the University of Waterloo and Geriatric Education and Research in Aging Sciences Centre.

Each day, from Monday to Friday, for the month of November, we will post a new video to provide ideas for safe and effective exercise and physical activity. We will start our video series telling the stories of four very different people with osteoporosis and showing you their innovative solutions to keep healthy and active.

Which one will speak to you? Click here to find out!