Osteoporosis and How Exercise Can Help

Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become thin and weak, and break easily. It is called the silent disease as lot of the time it will be undiagnosed until a fracture occurs. This is because generally there are no warning signs.

Most affected areas tend to be the spine, hips, ribs and wrists and therefore these areas of the body are particularly vulnerable to fracture.

Women are 4 times more likely to be affected than men; with current figures showing that 1 in 3 women will be affected from osteoporosis during their lifetime.

Most experts will agree that the time to deal with osteoporosis is before you develop the condition. We know that after the menopause woman are much more likely to develop the condition but we have to understand that younger women can also develop osteoporosis.

Luckily there is a simple way of minimising the risk of osteoporosis. All you have to do is exercises and eat healthier.

With exercise it is important that you do strength work and high impact exercises as these exercises will force your body to resist gravity and stimulate cells in the body that make new bone.

Bones react in similar way to muscles, the harder you train the stronger they get.

This is why it is very important that we train using our whole body, so that every bone and every muscle should get used. I would recommend repetitions of 8-15 for maximum benefit. If you are unable to get 8 reps then most likely the exercise or the weight you are using is too advanced. On the other hand if you get to 15 reps and you feel like you can get more then it is most likely too easy and you should either use heavier weights or adapt your exercise.

Furthermore it is important to note that non weight bearing exercise such as cycling, swimming and water aerobics are not a good way to build bone mass.

Below are some facts about osteoporosis that I have taken from the NHS website:

  • Approximately 3 million people in the UK have osteoporosis
  • There are more than 230,000 fragility fractures every year
  • One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will break a bone, mainly because of poor bone health
  • Broken wrists, hips and spinal bones are the most common fractures in people with osteoporosis
  • Of the 70,000 people who have osteoporotic hip fractures each year, 30% will die within a year from causes related to the fracture

If you require more information on the best form of exercise and intensity please contact us by clicking on the banner below.

By Edo Dedovic