Many elderly bariatric patients suffer from osteoporosis and bone loss, and wonder how this will affect their weight loss journey. While it’s important to focus on building muscle after weight loss surgery, it’s especially important to do this in a way that doesn’t hurt your bones. Weight-bearing exercises are the most efficient way to build bone mass, but it can be hard for seniors to work with free weights and machines at the gym. We’ve compiled a list of simple exercises for osteoporosis you can do to build bone mass and muscle.
Going for a walk is an easy way to help build bone strength and endurance. As walking longer distances gets easier, you can add ankle weights or hold 1-5 pound weights in your hands while you walk. Adding small increments of weight to your exercises is the most effective way to build bone strength without straining yourself.
Water takes pressure off your joints but adds safe resistance to help your bones get stronger. Swimming is also an excellent cardio workout! If you don’t have a pool at home, there are many gyms and fitness clubs that have lap pools. Start off by doing 3-5 laps, depending on the size of the pool, while you work up your endurance. As it gets easier, you can wear hand paddles or flippers to add extra resistance.
3. Tai Chi
If you’re looking for a unique exercise experience, Tai Chi is a great option to try. The slow and controlled movements in this Chinese martial art can help slow bone loss. These exercises are designed to improve blood flow and strength. You don’t have to attend a class to practice Tai Chi, there are plenty of online resources to help you practice in the comfort of your home.
4. Hatha Yoga
Like Tai Chi, Hatha yoga has a lot of slow movements. Yoga uses your own body weight to help build strength, which is perfect for those who don’t have access to weight training equipment. It is especially good for building strength in your wrists and abs. Poses can be modified to make them harder or easier depending on your skill level.
5. Water Aerobics
If you’ve never been a strong swimmer but you still want to experience the benefits of water exercise, you should consider signing up for a water aerobics class. These classes use foam “weights” and the resistance of the water around you to build bone and muscle strength throughout your whole body—all in the shallow end.
6. Chair Workouts
You can do these exercises easily at home—the only equipment you need is a chair! These exercises are perfect for people who have injuries or mobility problems. They build strength in your bones and your muscles by using your body weight for resistance. You can always add 1-5 pound weights as you progress.
While exercising during your weight loss journey is important, be mindful of your bone health as well. There are so many options to choose from that will simultaneously help you lose weight and build up bone and muscle mass. To find out more about if weight loss surgery is right for you, contact Riverside Surgical and Weight Loss Center today. We’re here to help you get started on your weight loss journey!