Can Pilates help with Osteoporosis?
Osteo = bone
Porosis = cavity formation
When there is not enough Calcium in the blood for muscle contraction, our bones release Calcium for this very important function – everything we do relies on muscle contraction from blinking, breathing to the beating of our heart therefore muscle contraction trumps bone health in the organisation in our bodies function. Osteoporosis occurs when bone mineral density declines, not only is there loss of bone mass but the quality of bone is poorer.
There are no symptoms for osteoporosis, the two ways it is diagnosed is either through bone mineral density scan or through fracture. An individual over 60 years old that has a femoral fracture, has a 1 year mortality rate of 20%! This statistic is very concerning and is due to a spiral effect from hospitalisation, becoming sedentary, possible infections or other complications, moods impacted negatively etc.
With regards to dealing with osteoporosis, we not only want to build up the bones but it is critical to decrease risk of fracture. The best way to decrease the risk of fracture is through exercise and reformer Pilates is an ideal way to build this strength! Reformer Pilates incorporates building strength, balance and stability, all of which are important to avoid falls and in turn a possible fracture. There are no contraindications with regards to physical exercise and osteoporosis. Being as active as possible, including jogging or other ‘jumping’ sports are important for good bone health also.
To keep osteoporosis at bay – exercises that load bones and high impact exercise help to increase bone density along with a healthy diet. Lifting heavy weights, high impact sports and exercises like Reformer HIIT, Met.Con and Intermediate Reformers sessions are all very beneficial for good bone health. Make it your mission to keep your bones as healthy as possible by maintaining a healthful, nutritious and alkaline diet along with high impact and weight training exercises 3 times per week.