It’s World Osteoporosis Day on October 20, and Siriyaporn Panyaborwornrat, a specialist physiotherapist at Burjeel Hospital in Muscat, gives her top exercise tips for sufferers.
Osteoporosis weakens bones, and increases the risk of unexpected fractures. Serious consequences can occur in some incidences but there are ways you can reduce the dangers of displacement.
Firstly, physical activity can be any muscular movement beyond resting levels. It is an all-encompassing concept that includes any activity or leisure pursuit, such as exercise and sport. The aim is usually to satisfy a physical, psychological or social need or often a mixture of all three.
These can be any exercises in which you are supporting your own body weight through your feet and legs (or hands and arms).
Bone is basically scaffolding, which supports the body against the forces of gravity and resists the pull of the muscles to allow movement.
These loads and forces ensure that the skeleton can resist the daily burdens imposed upon it. Bone is also a living tissue that reacts to increases in loads and forces by growing stronger. It does this constantly so exercise will only increase bone strength if it increases the loading above normal levels.
Younger, active people produce more new bone tissue than they lose, and therefore their bone density will increase.
Generally, we achieve maximum bone density and strength (peak bone mass) at around the
age of 30. Bone density gradually begins to decline as we age, and most of us also become less active.
For women, bone loss is usually most rapid during the first few years after the menopause. Exercise, healthy eating and other lifestyle changes can slow the bone loss that usually occurs as we age and may help to reduce the risk of our bones breaking.
If you are new to exercise or thinking of starting something new then choose an activity that suits your lifestyle, one that you enjoy and one that can improve bone strength.
Not all forms of exercise stimulate bone. Exercise that can reduce the risk of heart disease will not necessarily build bone density. Swimming and cycling, for example, are excellent forms of exercise for improving the fitness and function of the heart and lungs but these activities are not weight-bearing
It is very important to think about what kinds of activities you enjoy. If you choose an exercise that is a pleasure to do, you’re more likely to stick with it over time.
These types of activities are often recommended for people at a high risk of fracture:
• Strength-training exercises (exercises using body weight as resistance), especially for the back.
• Weight-bearing, aerobic activities
• Flexibility exercises.
• Stability and balance exercises to reduce the risk of falling.
• Aerobic training with controlled movements
Some forms of exercise may increase your risk of breaking a bone and may be unsuitable.
Avoid: high-impact, fast-moving exercises such as jumping, running, jogging or skipping.
Avoid: exercises in which you bend forwards and twist your waist, such as touching your toes or doing sit-ups.