Osteoporosis and Osteopenia are common conditions that revolve around bone density loss, making our bones more fragile and susceptible to fractures, but what does that really mean?
Changes can occur within our bones that impacts their strength and health. This can be natural hormonal changes as we age, or heightened through ongoing and prolonged use of certain medications such as steroids, among others. The inside of healthy bones have a similar make up to that of a violet crumble chocolate bar, a spongey and honeycomb like structure. As our bones weaken, the "pockets" enlarge like larger air bubbles in the honeycomb, reducing the density of the boney structure and therefore the strength of our bones.
These conditions are often called the "silent disease" because they are typically asymptomatic until a fracture occurs. As I am sure you can imagine fractures can cause significant pain, reduced mobility, and decreased independence. It's crucial that we take steps to prevent and manage these conditions to keep us moving the way we want as we get older.
So how do we prevent bone density loss from occurring?
Exercise is an essential component of prevention and management, and there are many options available. Weight-bearing and impact exercises, like walking or jogging, are particularly beneficial as they can help to build and maintain our bone density. Resistance exercises can also be effective in improving bone density and our overall strength. While balance exercises are another integral component to reduce the risk of fractures by reducing the risk of falls in the first place.
One study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that only 44% of Australians aged 65 and over meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. We have talked about the guidelines in an earlier blog post, but incase you missed it here is a recap. We should all be aiming for a minimum of 150-300 minutes of aerobic exercise plus two resistance training sessions per week. The fact that only 44% of Australian meet this base level of activity is concerning because regular exercise is the best way for us to keep our bones and muscles strong and improve our balance and coordination, which can reduce the risk of falls and subsequent fractures. Not to mention, it's a great way to stay active and social.
Osteoporosis and Osteopenia are serious conditions, but exercise plays a significant role in prevention and management. By staying active, we can help keep our bones strong and healthy, reduce our risk of fractures, and improve our overall quality of life.
So, are you currently meeting the physical activity guidelines? Are you getting enough impact and weight bearing exercises into your daily life? Are your bones as healthy and strong as they could be?
If the answer is no to any of these questions then it is time to consider what you are going to do about it.
Simply Stronger is here to help. As experts in exercise prescription we can help tailor an exercise program that helps set you up for years to come, because your health is an investment worth making.
Keep a look out on our socials in Facebook and Instagram for some great balance tips this April Falls Month as well as some more information around Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.
Want to know more about how and Exercise Physiologist can help you reach our health goals, get in touch via email email@example.com or call us 03 9964 3889 or you can book directly here.
Simply Stronger - here to make exercise simple. Understanding why you should exercise is a giant step towards wanting to exercise.