Wednesday 20 October 2020 is World Osteoporosis Day – a campaign that raises “awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis”. The condition is sometimes called the “silent epidemic” because people have osteoporosis without knowing it – only finding out when a fracture results in a DEXA scan to measure bone density.
Osteoporosis is a thinning of the bones where they become more porous and fragile. Whilst it affects both men and women, more women get osteoporosis as following the menopause oestrogen production ceases and bone calcium levels decrease. We have 206 bones in our body that provide structure in the form of the skeleton, protection of internal organs and are an important storage depot of essential minerals. To image the framework of healthy bones, just think of the strong woven framework of a wicker chair. When our bones become porous and fragile, the framework is more like an old worn wicker chair.
So if we have osteoporosis do we have to stop moving to protect our bones? Absolutely not. The Royal Osteoporosis Society states “you should do more exercise rather than less”. Our bodies were designed to move and we need to move for our physical and mental wellbeing. Bone is a living tissue that reacts well to being loaded – not just using light weights but also the load produced when a muscle pulls on the bone during movement. However we do have to be careful about what exercise we do and modifications may be needed.
Pilates is beneficial for people with osteoporosis and whilst certain movement patterns need to be avoided, many others are encouraged to help strengthen our bones. Pilates improves:
· Posture – to align the joints for optimal loading of the bones
· Strength – using light weights and the body’s own weight against gravity as bone responds to a force greater than it is used to
· Flexibility – to increase range of movement and become more agile
· Balance - key to fall prevention and slipping
Believing strongly in the benefits of Pilates for people with osteoporosis, I did the Body Control Pilates Bone Health course and then went on to study further with Buff Bones. My Pilates for Osteoporosis classes are specifically for people with low bone density and include weight bearing exercises as well as exercises that improve balance, posture, co-ordination and core stability. They are designed to be fun whilst safe, leaving you feeling energised with more confidence in your ability to move safely.
So if you want an exercise class specifically for osteoporosis contact me to find out more about my Pilates for Osteoporosis classes email@example.com