If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis you might be confused about exercising with your condition; either not realising the benefit of safe exercise, not be aware of the changes you should be making, or be fearful to exercise in case you make your condition worse. Below is some information you might find useful.
Our Pilates for Bone Health Class is designed to help you exercise in a safe environment
The class is suitable for anyone, but you must tell your teacher your DEXA scan results prior to attending class. These results can be obtained from your GP surgery upon request if you do not know the numbers. Don’t panic…. Your teacher can read the results and they make perfect sense even if they don’t make sense to you.
The class is suitable for Osteoporotic clients and also for anyone with osteopenia or who has a family history of poor bone health- because the exercises are designed to prevent damage and teach good movement, so the sooner you make it to class, the better!
Exercising is great for socialising and keeping your muscles strong and flexible, however exercising with osteoporosis should be done in a specific way to encourage bone growth and prevent injury. When done correctly you can encourage your bone to grow and become denser again. This can reverse the effects of osteoporosis, and depending on why you have the condition, reverse it (in conjunction with good diet and medication).
There are contraindications (things you must not do) to anyone exercising with osteoporosis. It is therefore very important that your instructor has a qualification in Bone Health of they are teaching you exercise. The first thing you should do is ask! Do not assume that your instructor knows about your condition or how to exercise safely with osteoporosis!
You should not do any movements that cause loaded flexion. This is important. In class we teach you how to get up and down off the floor safely, how to bend down safely and how to not cause further mini-fractures to your spine. Even if you can’t feel a break, it doesn’t mean that the honeycomb structure inside your bones aren’t breaking each time you bend down… Afterall, this is why osteoporosis is silent until the bone is finally too frail to support itself.
You should exercise with weight to encourage bone growth. But only for 10 mins at a time per movement. After this, the bone will not continue to grow.
Swimming is great cardio exercise but it won’t encourage bone growth so it might be appropriate to add a brisk walk into your exercise schedule if you swim regularly with osteoporosis.
Osteopenia is the precursor to osteoporosis; it is when your bone density isn’t as great as it should be, but it isn’t so poor that it will cause easy fractures or needs intervention other than a change in lifestyle. If you have osteopenia, you can completely reverse the condition with the right care.
People live with both conditions and do not know they have it, because you only become aware once your bones are scanned and this is only usually after an unusual break.
Women are more likely to have osteoporosis than men. According to research it is estimated that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over 60 years of age are living with low bone density levels.
– Various factors influence osteoporosis
– Hypermobility EDS
– Post menopause (after 5 years)
– A family history of the condition
– Long periods of bed rest
– Poor diet
It is important that you have a diet rich in vitamins and minerals- in particular vitamin D. These include food such as almonds and prunes. You can google recipes and foods that are pro-osteoporotic!
You should avoid regularly eating acidic foods or drinking caffeine or some fizzy drinks. You should also consider the amount of alcohol you intake as this can have a negative impact on good bone health.
The good news is you can make a difference! I have one client at NY Studio who completely reversed her osteoporosis (which was probably a result of the chemo she had). The day her results came back we had a celebration because this is a real achievement and it has given her a huge boost in confidence.
Osteoporosis is a life changing condition but there is a local support group who meet bimonthly to chat, share ideas and listen to guest speakers.
You can find out more information by contacting Jean on the mobile number or email address below:
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