Osteoporosis is a condition where there is a decrease in bone mass and bone density as well as an increase in the space between bones, resulting in porosity and fragility. A decrease in calcification or density of bone as well as reduced bone mass is a condition called Osteopenia which is a precursor to Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is most prevalent in postmenopausal women. Osteoporosis commonly affects the neck of the femur and the lumbar vertebrae. These areas are considered part of the core and are located in the body where all forces come together. When there is a decrease in bone mineral density, the core is placed in a weakened state, therefore making it more susceptible to injury or fracture. Research has shown that the risk of hip fractures doubles every five years in postmenopausal women over the age of 50. Risk factors include a lack of physical activity, smoking, excess alcohol consumption and low dietary calcium intake. In order to maintain consistent bone remodeling, people must remain active enough to insure adequate stress is being placed on their bodies. This is imperative for adolescents and young adults in order to reach a high peak bone mass.

It has been proven that individuals who participate in a resistance training program have a higher bone mineral density than those who do not. For the elderly, it is recommended that fitness training focus on prevention of falling. A combination of strength training, flexibility, core and balance training best facilitate the needs of this population. Progression of exercise should be slow, well monitored and based upon postural control. Also focusing on proper breathing is very important.

You should aim for 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise 4 to 5 days per week. Increasing leg strength may prevent falls and the hip fractures that accompany them. Resistance training should be done at least 2 to 3 days per week. Try to condition each major muscle group with at least one exercise. Balance exercises are also great and gentle on your bones and muscles, and can be done everyday. Specific attention to dietary calcium intake may also be warranted which may come in the form of increased food calcium or from specific calcium and vitamin D supplements.

No comments:

Post a Comment