Managing osteoporosis risks
Osteoporosis and the resulting injuries are more common among women – luckily, the best methods to preventing and minimising the risk of fractures is extremely simple! First, let’s understand what we’re dealing with:
Osteoporosis in Australia: Stats and Facts
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is the brittle bone disease. Your bones need minerals to stay healthy, thick and strong. When these minerals are lost more quickly than they can be replaced, it results in the loss of bone density – less robust bones means more breakages.
Osteoporosis is a silent disease with (usually) no symptoms – so what’s the best method to prevent osteo related injuries?
Weight-bearing exercise can help prevent osteoporosis injuries
It seems counter-intuitive, but putting stress on your muscles and bones increases bone density and decreases the rate at which you fracture your bones.
Weight bearing exercises are any exercises you perform standing up and use your body’s weight to move.
How weight bearing exercise helps
If you don’t use it, you lose it! Your body responds to stimulus, and your bones react to any jolts and impacts that they feel. Weight bearing exercises tell your muscles they need to work and your bones that they need to be thicker and stronger.
High impact exercises – for those in their 20’s and early 30’s
As the name implies, high impact exercises are intense on the body – exercises like sports, competitive (or heavy) weightlifting, use a lot of physical effort and can help develop strong muscles and bones.
Low impact exercises – for those past 35
Natural bone loss starts occurring at around 35, meaning that there’s an increased chance of bone fracture and injuries. If you’re just starting exercises, or feel more confident with less demanding exercise, you can do something as simple as walking to get started.
How much does it really help?
Those living active daily lives show 38-45% lower instances of hip fractures – but that’s not all:
You can help prevent fracture cascade
Fractures lead to more fractures. In fact, women who have suffered a spinal fraction are four times more likely to have another fracture within the next year.
Even more benefits
Exercising does more than just build bone and muscle strength – it can help you become aware of your body, helping you understand and achieve better balance, and better balance means less chances of falls!
Some of the best exercises for balance include…
The best time to start is now
Whether you’re already hitting the gym six times a week or if you find yourself on the couch most nights, right now is as good as time as any to think about your bone health and protecting your future self from fractures!
CBHS Better Living programs can help you manage your osteoporosis - contact 02 9685 7567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Osteoporosis.org.au - exercise sheet
Bonehealth.org: Facts and statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics
WebMD: Weight bearing exercise
NIH.gov: Bone health info