Older couple lifting weights together
Staying active and exercising helps to strengthen muscles and improve overall bone health.

There are two types of osteoporosis exercises that are important for building and maintaining bone density: weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises.

Weight-bearing Exercises

These exercises include activities that make you move against gravity while staying upright. Weight-bearing exercises can be high-impact or low-impact.

High-impact weight-bearing exercises help build bones and keep them strong. If you have broken a bone due to osteoporosis or are at risk of breaking a bone, you may need to avoid high-impact exercises. If you’re not sure, you should check with your healthcare provider.

Examples of high-impact weight-bearing exercises are:

  • Dancing
  • Doing high-impact aerobics
  • Hiking
  • Jogging/running
  • Jumping Rope
  • Stair climbing
  • Tennis

Low-impact weight-bearing exercises can also help keep bones strong and are a safe alternative if you cannot do high-impact exercises. Examples of low-impact weight-bearing exercises are:

  • Using elliptical training machines
  • Doing low-impact aerobics
  • Using stair-step machines
  • Fast walking on a treadmill or outside

Muscle-Strengthening Exercises

These exercises include activities where you move your body, a weight or some other resistance against gravity. They are also known as resistance exercises and include:

  • Lifting weights
  • Using elastic exercise bands
  • Using weight machines
  • Lifting your own body weight
  • Functional movements, such as standing and rising up on your toes

Preventing Injury and Moving Safely

For people with osteoporosis or an increased risk for fracture, preventing falls is a top concern.  But, it is also important to avoid unintentional injuries, especially those of the spine, which may occur with everyday activities.  The following video series shows how simple changes can be made to help keep you healthy and active.

Watch the Videos

Do you want to do yoga or pilates and you have osteoporosis? Download the fliers below for information on which exercises are recommended and which exercises you should avoid.

BHOF gratefully acknowledges Pilates Anytime and Sherri Betz, PT, GCS for the production of the videos and flyers.
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