you should do both cardio and weights, do to your back problem you will have to modify the way you work out but can still enjoy the results.cardio... I would recomend a very low impact cardio work out such as a stationary bike this would put little stress on the back and can be done for about 10 minutes before your weight workout as a warm up then again after your weights for 20 minutes or more if you feel up to it.Weights,,, I also have a bad back due to a sports injury but i can still lift a good deal of weights and body build. you have to modify how you do your lifting and it is helpful if you have a basic understanding of the muscles you are working and the movements required. Many movements done normany put little stress on the back such as the bench press as long as you do not arch your back. my legs are very strong and i can lift alot of weight on the leg extension machine but my back cant take the strain, so to work my legs to the maximum without so much stress on the back I lift half the weight and use only one leg at a time, the leg muscle works just as hard but with half the stress on the back, this is true for other leg machines as well such at leg press and hamstring curl. I also have a hard time doing some arm exercises standing up such as bicept curls because it stresses the back but you can eliminate almost all the stress on the back by doing the exercise seated in a gym bench with a slight reclining back rest on it.
with osteoporosis you need to be concerned with not just your back but your other bones as well. You do not have to life heavy weights to get results. I would recomend a light weight routine, this is done by doing the normal weight workouts but using a weight that you can lift 20 times each set. and do 3 to 4 sets of the exercise not resting between sets more than a minute. try to do 20 lifts each set, if you cant get 20 do as much as you can but the first set must be 20, if you cant get that on the first set use a lighter weight, if you can do 25 on your first set you are not using a heavy enough weight. you will have to start with heavier weight as you progress and get stronger, It will take some trial and error to figure out what is the correct weight for you in the beginning. you should keep a note pad with you recording the type of workout, weight and number of lifts of each set, this will allow you to save time by knowing exactly what to start with on a new day and you will also beable to view your progress. for example if you lift 12lbs one week starting with a set of 20 and your last set you got only 11, then this is the weight you want to start with next time, when you get to a point where every set is 16 to 20 lifts then you are stronger and know it is time to move up in weight.
getting a membership to a gym is the best way to go, it should not be an intimidating thing to work out around people that live at the gym and look like apes like myself, you will find people there are for the most part down to earth, helpful. also the gym atmosphere has all the equipment you need, helps you stay motivated, gets you out of the house and there is usually allways someone there to help you out if you need assistance or just some ideas for your workouts.
as for your work outs I would recomend at least 4 times a week,bicepts, back, forarms one daychest, tricepts and shoulders another with the third day off to recover. you can work your legs and abs in anywhere you like or even do them on a third day which would still count as a rest day because none of the prior muscles have to work on that day, but seeing as you probobly don't want to live in the gym you might just do legs with your chest day and abs on the other. you never want to work the same muscle 2 days in a row because it needs its recovery time heal and grow just as your mind needs its sleep. by spliting you muscle groups as stated above you can still work out on consecutive days with out making a particular muscle work, when you work your back you are not working your chest, so even though you are lifting weight for the back you are allowing the chest to rest. Weight lifting if very effective for strength building not just of muscle but it does infact build and strengthen bone!
I hope this is not too hard to follow the way i wrote it. please be sure to check with a physician to see if it is ok to lift light weight with your condition, if so i think you will be happy with the results and feel much better, Good luck Ps. don't forget the cardio at the end of your workouts which is necessary to strengthen the heart, increase your metabolism (the ammount of calories you burn off while at rest at home, natural thurmostat), and increase lung capacity and efficiency.
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