Exercise is Crucial Treatment for Osteoporosis to Strengthen Bones and Body
Certain Movements Can Help Make Everyday Life Easier
Growing up, were told it's important to have strong bones, but as we get older, those same bones begin to have wear, tear and are more likely to break.
Osteoporosis affects 25% (one in four) of women ages 65 and older and almost 5% (one in 20) of men ages 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Exercise is key to help strengthen the body and bones," said Stephanie Allain, who is a personal trainer at Health First's Pro-Health & Fitness Center in Viera.
Working with senior gym clients for more than ten years, Allain has heard her share of concerns.
She explains some common questions and gives helpful information on how to best treat osteoporosis.
Q: How can I improve my overall bone health if I have osteoporosis?
A: Exercise is the most effective treatment for osteoporosis. Studies show that people don't know they have the disease until they break a bone, which is why screenings are vital to prevent this before it happens.
Q: What types of exercises should be done with osteoporosis?
A: The most important when dealing with osteoporosis are functional, flexibility and aerobic exercises. Functional exercises are movements that strengthen the body for everyday life. For example, a squat is a strength move that enables us to get in and out of a chair more easily.
Flexibility exercises help maintain the range of motion in joints. Gentle stretching, Tai Chi and yoga would all help with flexibility.
Aerobic exercise is also important to keep blood flowing to all areas of the body and to help reduce weight, which decreases the impact on the joints. Starting slow and choosing non-impact aerobic exercise would be the best option.
Q: Why is exercise so important for someone with osteoporosis?
A: Exercise can reduce pain and improve movement by increasing the elasticity in the muscles and keeping blood flow to all areas of the body.
Strong muscles can support and protect joints that are affected by osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis can be prevented through proper exercise that limits excessive wear and tear on the body and focuses on strengthening the muscles around the joints. By maintaining a healthy weight, combined with exercising, less stress will be placed on the joints.