Exercise as it relates to Disease/Exercise and osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder that can be seen as a low bone mass and a decrease in bone strength which results in bones being fragile and therefore an increased risk in fractures. Throughout a humans life bone tissue is continuously being changed and remodeled making it stronger during our childhood and adolescence years, as we reach our 30’s more bone is removed then laid down increasing the risk of osteoporosis developing. Often seen as a disease that only affects the elderly, fractures causes by osteoporosis affect 60% of women and 30% of men in Australia. The only accurate way of assessing an individual for osteoporosis is by using a bone density scanner.
Because women go through menopause and there is a decline in estrogen it causes an accelerated bone density loss,other then women being more at risk at developing osteoporosis there are many other factors that can affect can contribute to the development of osteoporosis:
- Heredity – Bone are predetermined by genes so individuals who have small and thin bones.
- Hormones – Males have higher levels of testosterone, which have greater effects on bone size then estrogen in women.
- Diet – A healthy and balanced diet is needed to maintain bone growth. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D help decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Lifestyle – Alcohol, caffeine, smoking, salt and being sedentary may lead to bone reduction.
Osteoporosis and the Effects of Exercise
Living a sedentary lifestyle can not only increase your risk of fractures due to weak muscles but also poor posture and poor balance which can have an impact on an elderly individual suffering from osteoporosis. Exercise cannot only help prevent osteoporosis but also ease the life of those who are suffering from in by:
- Reducing the amount of bone loss
- Maintain remaining tissue
- Improve physical fitness
- Improve muscle strength
- Improved reaction time
- Better mobility
- Reduced pain
- Better balance
All of which can help decrease the risk of falls and fractures.
Types of Exercise
- Weight bearing aerobics exercises such as dancing
- Resistance training which include dumb bells, barbells, elastic band resistance, body weight resistance and weight machines
- Exercises to improve balance, posture and strength such as yoga and tai chi
- Swimming and water exercises are also recommended to improve muscle strength
Exercise Guidelines and Safety
A person suffering from osteoporosis has weakened bones that are prone to fracturing so therefore there are a range of activities they should avoid these include exercises that increase risk of falls, exercises with a twisting motion and exercises that require sudden forced movements. Before starting any exercise program a person suffering from osteoporosis must take a range of factors into account to ensure that the program they pick is safe these include:
- Getting advice from a medical professional as well as an all clear, giving information such as age, severity, current medications, and other medical conditions
- Having a professional trained instructor to not only supervise but also create a program that takes personal fitness, ability and goals into account
- Eliminate any hazards in the areas that can cause falls
Amount of Exercise for People with Osteoporosis
- Aerobic Exercise should be done two to three times a week with duration of 45 minutes to one hour
- Resistance Training should be done two to three times a week with variations between lower and upper body. Eight to Ten repetitions per exercise
- Balance exercises should be done twice a week with up to thirty minutes per session
- Stretching should be down every day to promote flexibility and decrease soreness
With all these types of exercise there should be adequate warm up and cool down to ensure maximum muscle recovery.
Further Reading and Information
For more information about osteoporosis and exercise contact your health care professional or visit:
- Osteoporosis Australia - http://www.osteoporosis.org.au
- Better Health - http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Osteoporosis
- Health Insite - http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topic/osteoporosis
- Arthritis Victoria - http://www.arthritisvic.org.au/Conditions-and-Symptoms/Osteoporosis
- Bresler, P (2013). Osteoporosis. Primary Care Reports. Volume 19, Number 4 / April 2013
- Sports Medicine Australia 2009, Women in Sport Fact Sheet: Exercise and Osteoporosi, South Melbourne, viewed 7 October 2013, <http://www.http://sma.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/WIS-Osteo.pdf>
- Better Health Victoria Government Australia 2012, Osteoporosis and Exercise, Victoria, viewed 7 October 2013, <http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Osteoporosis_and_exercise>
- Tremblay, K. Barber, C (2013). Preventing Falls in the Eldery Fact Sheet 10.242, Colorado State University, viewed 7 October 2013, <http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/consumer/10242.pdf>
- Todd, J. Robinson, R (2003). Osteoporosis and exercise, Postgrad Med J, (), pp. 320-323 [Online]. Available at: http://www.pmj.bmj.com/content/79/932/320.full.pdf+html (Accessed: 8/10/2013).
- Strayer, D. Scrub, T (2012) Quick Lesson about Osteoporosis, 1509 Wilson Terrace, Glendale, CA 91206: Cinahl Information Systems.
- Wolman, R (1991) 'Osteoporosis and Exercise', ABC of Sports Medicine, 309(), pp. 400-403 [Online]. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2541235/pdf/bmj00452-0054.pdf (Accessed: 8/10/2013).
- Osteoporosis Australia. 2013. Welcome to Osteoporosis Australia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.osteoporosis.org.au. [Accessed 08 October 13]
- Health Insite. 2013. Osteoporosis. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topic/osteoporosis. [Accessed 08 October 13]
- Arthritis Victoria. 2012. Osteoporosis. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.arthritisvic.org.au/Conditions-and-Symptoms/Osteoporosis. [Accessed 07 October 13]