Osteoporosis is a major cause of disability in older women. So if you have osteoporosis, how can you reduce your risk of fractures, loss of mobility and independence?
The answer: Exercise. Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program for osteoporosis as you may need a bone density test.
Taking care of your bones is important at absolutely important at any age. I really want to help you have a little bit more understanding of the importance of keeping your bone health as good as you possibly can. I’ll start by introducing you to Henry. Henry has been used within our training department for training our teachers. Your teacher who works with you in a class maybe, has had Henry in front of her on many occasions. Looks like he’s been overdoing the dieting. The other thing about looking at something like Henry, a skeleton, there’s often this feeling that bone is really just dead tissue. That’s far from the truth. Bone is very much a living tissue.
When we’re young and the bones are growing, then the actual bone-building cells in the body are massively working away to build bone. Actually, your bone-building cells carry on the being very important to you right into your mid-30’s. Building bone strength throughout youth is probably one of the most important messages I can give you. If you are responsible for young people, get them active; get them moving, jumping, any work that will help them to build up their bone density.
How do we build up bone density? It’s about muscles pulling across the bone. It’s that pulling action that really helps to get the bone stronger. That’s why exercise in itself is a major factor. The thing is, though; bones are made up of 2 particularly type of tissue: Hard exterior, but inside particularly the ends of the bone, it’s more like a honeycomb structure, a bit like the inside of a crunchy bar. That means they are very vulnerable as you get older that those bones are becoming much more fragile, particularly at the ends of the bone.
Women approaching the menopause where the loss of estrogen, it makes a difference. You can find out a lot more information on that, there’s 2 video clips from Dr. Hilary and Dr. Susan [inaudible: 02:05], both referring to osteoporosis; very useful to have some more background information.
What I want to concentrate on is what type of exercise is really good for us. There’ s 3 vulnerable areas: The wrist is vulnerable, particularly in woman post-menopausal in their 50’s. The wrist is vulnerable and often shows the first sign of a bone . . . loss of bone. You are getting a very risky area. The second area is the hip. As women then go more into their 60’s and their 70’s, if they have a fall and they have signs of osteoporosis, then they may break their . . . fracture their hip. Finally the area through the spin, particularly the lower back area and in the area around the ribs. It’s these areas that we’re going to focus on so much within our bone-loading workout program.
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