Osteoporosis is a disease of compromised bone strength which results in an increased risk of minimal trauma fracture. In Australia it affects 15% of women and 3% of men over 50 years of age.
Physical inactivity is one of the modifiable risk factors of osteoporosis, with regular exercise playing an important role in the prevention of the disease.
How does exercise work?
- The compression, tension and torsion loads placed on the bones during exercise via weight-bearing and muscle activation, stimulate cells within the bone to lay down new bone, increasing bone mineral density
- Exercise also increases muscular strength and balance to prevent falls that can lead to osteoporotic fractures
What type of exercise is best?
- Weight-bearing endurance activity – brisk and uphill walking, stair climbing, jogging, tennis and dancing
- Resistance or strength exercises – weights, resistance bands or machines at the gym
- High impact exercise – skipping, jumping, netball, basketball. Caution should be taken with these in those with osteoarthritis, osteoporosis or lower limb joint pain!
- Balance exercises – standing on one leg, walking heel-toe and Tai Chi
How much and how often?
- 30- 60 minutes varied moderate-high intensity weight-bearing and progressive resistance training 3- 5 times per week
- Impact exercises if tolerated
- Balance exercises daily
What if I already have osteoporosis?
Care must be taken with any exercise that places twisting or bending forces through your spine. High impact exercise, including jumping and skipping should also be avoided.
If you are unsure or would like a personalised exercise regime, please don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange an appointment