Yoga is a mind and body practice with historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy. Like other practices originating from Asia, such as t’ai chi and qi gong, yoga is becoming increasingly popular in the West as people look for alternatives to traditional Western medicine.
But what exactly are the benefits of yoga for those suffering from osteoporosis?
In this blog post, we’ll look at some ways that yoga can help keep your bones healthy and strong.
Yoga for Bone Health
One of the most important things you can do for your bones if you suffer from osteoporosis is to increase the forces of resistance on them. This can be done through weight-bearing and resistance exercises such as yoga, t’ai chi, qi gong, and Pilates. Walking, running, and weightlifting are also good options. If you have osteopenia (low bone density), it’s especially important to avoid impact exercises like running or jogging, which can put too much stress on your bones and lead to fractures.
While some forms of exercise are better for bone health, all forms of exercise have benefits beyond simply improving strength and flexibility. For example, balance exercises like yoga and t’ai chi can improve coordination and focus while also providing a boost in confidence. As we age, many of us become less confident when moving about, and while it’s good to be careful, hesitancy can make us more likely to fall and possibly fracture a bone. And whether you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia or not, falling puts you at risk of fracturing a bone.
Mental and Emotional Benefits
In addition to their physical benefits, mind-body practices like yoga also have mental and emotional benefits that can help reduce stress and promote overall well-being. Stress can be detrimental to bone health because it causes the release of hormones that lead to increased inflammation in the body.
Inflammation is a risk factor for osteoporosis because it interferes with the absorption of calcium by the bones. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia. And if you have any doubts about whether an exercise is safe for you to do, ask a certified yoga instructor or another qualified fitness professional.
Yoga is a great way to improve your bone health if you suffer from osteoporosis or osteopenia. Not only does yoga provide the resistance-based exercise that is essential for maintaining bone density, but it also has numerous other benefits such as improved balance, coordination, focus, and confidence. In addition to its physical benefits, yoga also has mental and emotional benefits that can help reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being. Before starting any new exercise program, be sure to talk to your doctor first. And if you have any doubts about whether an exercise is safe for you to do with osteoporosis or osteopenia, ask a certified yoga instructor or another qualified fitness professional for guidance.