Osteoporosis is a silent epidemic. This chronic disease often only manifests when a sufferer breaks a bone due to a very minor shock or fall, which would not cause any damage to healthy bones.
Unfortunately, osteoporosis now affects one in three women over the age of fifty and one in five men, with over three and a half million people in the UK now estimated to suffer from this condition.
What is Osteoporosis?
This chronic disease is caused by a decrease in the bone mass, making bones fragile and more susceptible to fractures and damage. Over time bones becomes brittle and porous, developing cavities in the structure that make them more prone to fractures.
Many factors influence the speed of the onset of this condition; however it is generally understood to be caused by age and a genetic predisposition. Whilst it is both unpleasant and difficult both for sufferers and their loved ones to cope with this disease, there are a number of activities, treatments and lifestyle changes that can reduce its overall impact.
Osteoporosis and Diet
A good, balanced diet, full of essential nutrients can delay the onset of osteoporosis. Bone health can be improved by eating calcium and magnesium rich foods as well as those with a good levels of omega-3 oils.
The Impact of Exercise on Osteoporosis
Let’s make no bones about it (see what we did there?) exercise can greatly help with the symptoms of osteoporosis. Physical exercise increases joint strength and flexibility, ensuring that tendons and ligaments stay supple and healthy.
It is vital however that any such exercise programme is both composed and conducted by a trained fitness professional, like the ones you will find at EMS Fitness.
Because osteoporosis directly affects the spine, it is essential that the surrounding muscles, are strengthened to improve support. Extra care is required when completing exercises to build muscle across the back, checking that form is always maintained whilst avoiding overexertion and excess weight.
Balance vs Breaks
And to minimise the risk of breaks or accidents, we recommend that any sufferer of osteoporosis should pay special attention to exercises that improve balance. Any serious fall could result in a major fracture, such as the hip, collarbone or even the pelvis, which is likely to impact their quality of life. As sufferers get older, stability increasingly becomes an issue and walking can equally become compromised – good balance and muscle strength dramatically reduces the chances of an accident.
As you would expect, stretching and warm ups are a cornerstone of any workout. However, yoga postures and advances stretching techniques can offer considerable benefits to osteoporosis sufferers, aiding mobility, strength and posture, which strengthens the joints around the muscles, and lowers the risk of fractures.
Depending on the severity of the onset of osteoporosis, each patient should have a specific, individual schedule of exercise drawn up for them by their personal trainer, which is then signed off by their doctor. Yes, receiving a diagnosis is never going to be pleasant, but with positive, early action many symptoms can be minimised.
If you would like to know more about how EMS Fitness can work as part of your team, giving you the boost and encouragement to take on the onset of osteoporosis, then please get in touch for a chat with one of our trainers.