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The Busy Woman’s Osteoporosis Work Out

My step mother is BUSY. When she’s not jet setting about the place organising conferences or academics or teaching she’s at home tending to livestock including alpacas, and her giant garden. She doesn’t have time to have osteoporosis, or read a blog about it or even go to bone building exercise class so:

Alison, I've designed you a daily rib, lumber spine, wrist and hip strength program. It's a quick read and there are pictures. I've designed it so that you don't have to restructure your day, just what you do in the transition periods of your day.

So the first exercise is for when you are in the shower. It is a side stretch. Breathe into your upper rib cage, strengthening the muscles between the ribs. Let the muscles between rib and hip shorten to return you to upright. If you only do one each side that is an improvement on doing none. It is more important to do these movements every day than to focus on numbers. If you want to make it trickier later on, raise your arms above your head or stand one one leg or do both but for now - just side bend.

Then while waiting for your breakfast eggs to cook or for the jug to boil, you can do a bench front support hold. Here you lift yourself up on the bench and let your wrists support your weight, your elbow creases are forward, your finger tips push into the bench and your shoulder blades are wide, breathe and hang out for as long as you can in this position. You will progress to feet off the floor as this becomes easier and then jumps and pushes - but one step at a time.

When sitting down to eat, take three breaths filling your lungs with oxygen and expanding the rib cage in a seated chest expansion. Feel your weight on your sit bones, lift from the crown of your head, open your collar bones aaaand breathe. If you forget to do this now, that's OK - you will have many more chances throughout your day.

While you are brushing your teeth stand on one leg. Keep your weight in your heels, ribs down, knees soft/ not locked, if you feel up to it you can do small hops too, but we don’t need to get too enthusiastic yet.

When you get into the car you have another chance to do your seated chest expansion, this is great for opening your chest and strengthening your upper back and neck. Play with gently looking down and up, over each shoulder and resting your ear on your shoulder while you're at it.