Ask the Nurse

I recently learned I have osteoporosis. I read Dr. Moreno’s article about exercising safely. I would like to know if she would recommend using a weighted vest? I’d like to use one to increase weight-bearing load, but wonder if if it is advised?

Thank you for reading our article on How to Exercise Safely with Bone Loss. The vast majority of research supports resistance training as a very effective means to increase bone density. You can use weighted vests with other resistance exercises with a strong recommendation that you use it with caution and as tolerated. If the weights that you strap into your vest are too heavy, it could potentially put you at an increased risk of detrimental fractures such as compression fractures.

  • Various health systems with robust bone exercise programs recommend choosing a vest equal to 5-10% of your body weight.
  • Please remember to wear supportive shoes to protect your feet and ankles during the exercises.
  • Your muscles also need a day of recovery in between workouts to repair.
  • I would also recommend getting enough dietary calcium and taking a separate Vitamin D3 supplement.

If you have not done so, check with a bone health specialist to talk about how to better manage your osteoporosis, and your physician may refer you to a physical therapist who can advise special exercises to reduce falling. In general, medical therapy for osteoporosis is recommended for six months to help stabilize the bone BEFORE increasing exercise intensity.

All my best,
Speaking of Women's Health team

June 7, 2019 at 8:55pm