Osteoporosis, Women and Exercise
0steoporosis, the "fragile bone disease," is characterized by a loss of bone mass caused by a deficiency in minerals such as calcium, magnesium and other vitamins. Unchecked, osteoporosis can lead to loss of height, stooped posture, humpback, and severe pain. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis affects 10 million Americans, mostly women. Thirty-four million more Americans 15% of them pre- menopausal women, are estimated to have osteopenia (low bone mass), and that makes them likely candidates to get osteoporosis earlier.
Myth: My daily walking workouts are enough to prevent osteoporosis.
Reality: Low impact activities such as walking and swimming or muscle-toning exercises are great workouts that improve your over all health but they don’t seem to provide the right amount of stimuli to actually increase bone mass.
Bone building cells need a lot of stress to be jolted enough to start doing their work creating new bone because calcium, the main component of bones, isn’t absorbed well by the body unless there is a demand created by exercise.. The good news is all that low impact exercise you are doing right now is boosting your balance and coordination. This increase in equilibrium reduces your risk of falls and fractures.
What should I do then?
All types of exercise are good for you, so keep up your daily exercise routine; here is a list of exercises that can help:
* Low Impact aerobics
* Resistance and Weight training using free weights, weight machines or stretch bands
* Yoga to improve balance and posture
A person with osteoporosis already have weakened bones that are prone to fracturing so avoid exercises that has a high chance of causing you to fall.
What not to do:
- High impact aerobic exercises
- Any exercise that requires sudden or forceful movements
- Any exercise that has sudden jolts, stops and starts like tennis or squash
- Any exercise that has twisting motions like golf
- Abdominal sit-ups
The amount of exercise:
The exact amount of exercise needed for osteoporosis hasn’t been determined. However it is recommended that sticking to your exercise routine diligently (2-3 times a week) will be beneficial in improving your condition.
Consult your health care professional:
Always start your exercise program slowly and with medical supervision as too vigorous exercises will cause fractures. It is also recommended that you consult your doctor for your supplements and their right dosages and for you to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol too much.
© 2008 Shanti Rose