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Friday, May 28, 2010

Osteoporosis and Exercise by Michelle Aultman

Give me five minutes and I'll show you some training suggestions to prevent osteoporosis

About ten million Americans have osteoporosis, and another 34 million have low bone mass, (osteopenia). A disease without symptoms, osteoporosis affects about 20 percent of men and 80 % of women. Given that the bones gradually become weaker, they may break in a minor fall or, if left untreated, even from simple things like a sneeze. The commonest fracture sites can be hip, wrist and spine, although any bone in your body could be affected. A diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis may be scary, leading a number of people to stop exercise because of fear it will cause fractures. The reality is that people with low bone mass should make sure to exercise often. Being active is shown to not only aid the prevention of osteoporosis, but slow bone loss once it's already begun. Before beginning a workout program, you should talk to your doctor for guidelines, as level of bone loss determines what type of exercise is best. Physicians can assess bone mineral density and fracture risk by scanning your body using a special type of X-ray machine. In conjunction with exercise, treatment may include dietary modifications and/or estrogen replacement therapy. The more knowledge you get concerning this condition, the more you can do to help prevent its onset.

To create strength and bone mass, both weight-bearing and strength training work outs are ideal. Weight-bearing work outs are the ones that require the bones to fully support your weight against gravity. Examples are walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing or using an elliptical exercise machine. Non-weight bearing exercises include biking, swimming, water aerobics and rowing. Weight-bearing activities including walking as little as 3 times per week may benefit the bones. Strength training places mechanical force (stress) on our bodies, which increases bone density. Start by lifting light weights, moving in a slow and controlled manner, increasing resistance as you become stronger.

It is recommended that individuals with osteoporosis avoid the following kinds of activity:

* Step aerobics and high-impact activities for example running, jumping, tennis.
* Activities that involve rounding, bending and twisting of the spine.
* Moving the legs sideways or across the body, particularly when performed against resistance.
* Rowing machines, trampolines.
* Every movement that involves pulling on the head and neck.

Exercise Tips:

* Even if you don't have osteoporosis, you should check with your health care provider just before you start an exercise program.
* Be sure you warm-up before beginning and cool down at the end of each exercise session.
* To get the best benefit to your bone health, combine a number of different weight-bearing exercises.
* When you build strength, increase resistance, or weights, as an alternative to repetitions.
* Make sure to drink a lot of water whenever exercising.
* Vary the types of exercise that you do weekly.
* Combine weight bearing and resistance exercise with aerobic exercises to help you improve your overall health.
* Bring your friend along to help you keep going or in addition to this, bring your family and encourage them to be healthy.
* Add more work out to your day; take the stairs vs. the elevator, park further way, and walk to your co-worker's office rather than emailing.

Put LIVE into action!

L - Load or weight-bearing exercises make a difference to your bones
I - Intensity builds stronger bones.
V - Vary the types of exercise as well as your routine to keep interested.
E - Enjoy your exercises. Make exercise fun so you will continue into the future!

Certain factors raise the probability of developing osteoporosis. While a few of these risk factors are controllable, others won't be. Risk factors that may be controlled are: Sedentary lifestyle, excess intake of protein, sodium, caffeine and/or alcohol, smoking, calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies and taking certain medicines. Body size (small frame), gender, family history and ethnicity are risk factors that can't be controlled. Women can lose nearly 20 percent of their bone mass in the five to seven years after menopause, which makes them more vulnerable to osteoporosis. It is never too soon to start thinking about bone mineral density. About 85-90 percent of adult bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and 20 in boys.

Nutrition and Exercise for Healthy Bones in childhood and Adolescence

Much of the reserve of healthy bone is built in youth and before the age of 30. Women might be more susceptible to an inadequate foundation process at this time than men. Sufficient calcium intake,a balanced diet with a lot of vegetables and fruits and load-bearing exercise are the tips for solid bone growth when you're young. Then, with continued exercise into old age - and this benefits men too -- bone density decline could be kept to a minimum. Although women will be the main focus of data about osteoporosis and low bone density (osteopenia), some men are also seriously afflicted by this problem. In case you do all the right things while becoming an adult and into adulthood, your inherited characteristics - your genes - can present you with bones that are susceptible to osteoporosis. This is even greater reason to maximize your lifestyle to prevent poor bone health.

About the Author - Michelle Aultman writes for the elliptical workout blog, her personal hobby blog dedicated to suggestions to prevent osteoporosis through workout at home.

Author's note: The info provided on this document are designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Michelle Aultman has no business intent and does not accept direct source of advertising coming from health or pharmaceutical companies, doctors or clinics and websites. All content provided by her is based on her editorial view and it's not driven by an advertising and marketing purpose.