Exercises And Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that affects men and women, especially women beyond menopause. In osteoporosis, the bones become brittle and weak, and have a greater risk of fracture. The word osteoporosis means “porous bones,” where porous essentially means “full of holes” -- and that accurately describes the condition of osteoporotic bones. Although, most common in women, it can also affect men as they age. Osteoporosis is associated with 1.2 million bone fractures each year.
EXERCISES TO PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS
Causes of Osteoporosis
One of the causes of osteoporosis is lack of calcium in the diet. Adults need 1200 to 1500 mg of calcium per day, but the average diet contains only about 750 mg.
Why are women more vulnerable than men?
The Female Athlete Triad
Building and maintaining bone mass, requires a combination of nutrients and exercise. Building bone density early in life is the best way to prevent osteoporosis during old age. After adulthood, the best way to maintain the bone mass is the same way you build it -- getting adequate calcium in your diet and doing weight bearing exercise.
Exercise Helps Prevent Osteoporosis
Exercise of the right type, called “weight-bearing” or “load-bearing” exercise,” helps keep bones strong by causing the muscles and tendons to pull on the bones, which in turn stimulates bone cells, which ultimately strengthens the bone.
Evidence shows that exercise may help build and maintain bone density at any age. Studies have shown that, bone density increase by doing regular resistance exercises, such as lifting weights, two or three times a week. This type of weight bearing exercise appears to stimulate the bone formation, and retention of calcium in the bones that are bearing the load. The force of muscles pulling against bones stimulates this bone-building process. Therefore, any exercise that places force on a bone will strengthen that bone. Exercise also increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance, and decreases the likelihood of falls in old age.
Strength Training using weight machines, free weights, water exercises, resistance bands can help strengthen the upper body and slow down the loss of minerals from the bones.
It is very important to understand the need for the awareness on osteoporosis, as women at all stages are the essential pillars of a family. The need for the right amount of calcium in nutrition, with added exercises is the need of the hour. Any woman attaining menopause needs and must see a women’s health physiotherapist for complete screening of the vulnerable areas and for the advice on the right type of exercise to avoid osteoporosis.