Daily 20 to 30 minutes of standing/walking type exercise helps to prevent fractures. Why? There are many benefits.
The first is easy. Bones that are gently stressed daily by standing activities are stimulated to grow strong enough to hold you up. Your body discards bones that are not stressed daily.
Muscle strength is more important than we thought. Muscles that are used many times daily for standing up from a chair, walking, climbing stairs, etc can reliably do these activities. Without exercise your muscles may be too weak to prevent falling.
Balance and co-ordination are key to prevent falls. You need enough strength and co-ordination to safely catch yourself after a stumble. Practicing balance by standing on one foot, or walking slowly, will help. If you find that you need a cane or walker for balance, use it!
Fractures happen when too much stress is suddenly applied to your bones. Build them up gradually to have them strong enough for everything you want to do, or happen to do by accident.
Falls cause fractures, whether they are caused by ice or a throw rug. Regular exercise helps you avoid falls by building strength and balance. Staying off ice and eliminating throw rugs helps too.
Your body stays strong because you exercise every day to improve muscle strength, balance and bones. Take control naturally by exercising daily.
Jay Ginther, MD