Osteoporosis (means “porous bone”) is a disease which affects around 1.2 million Australians. It happens when you lose too much bone, make too little bone or both. As a result, your bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from simple actions, like sneezing or bumping into furniture. Osteoporosis is a ‘silent disease’ because you can’t feel your bones getting weaker and it usually has no symptoms until a fracture occurs.
Broken bones due to osteoporosis are most likely to occur in the hip, spine and wrist, but other bones can break too. When osteoporosis causes the bones of the spine, called vertebrae, to break or collapse, it affects your posture and causes you to become stooped or hunched.
There are controllable and uncontrollable factors that put you at risk for developing osteoporosis.
Uncontrollable Risk Factors
- Being over age 50.
- Being female.
- Have a family history of osteoporosis.
- Low body weight/being small and thin.
- Broken bones or height loss.
Controllable Risk Factors
- Low calcium intake
- Low vitamin D levels.
- Not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
- Low hormone levels – in women: early menopause; in men: low testosterone.
- Having an inactive lifestyle.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Losing weight.
A combination of a healthy diet (rich in calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients), weight-bearing aerobic and resistance (weight training) exercise is best, together with specific balance exercises. Research shows that hip fractures have been found to be as much as 38-45% lower in older adults who have been physically active in their daily life, compared to less active people.
When it comes to exercise, some will have a greater impact on the health of your bones than others. For example, swimming and cycling are fantastic exercises, especially for your heart and lungs, but have no impact on your bone health. On the other hand, balance and mobility exercise may not improve bone or muscle strength but can help to reduce falls.
Health Jigsaw is a well trusted mobile outdoor personal and fitness training business and our trainers have been helping clients get fitter, stronger, faster and healthier since 2004. We can create safe and effective workouts to help you maintain your bone density or slow down the rate of bone loss. If you live in the following areas, one of our personal trainers (Andrew) can come to you: Blackmans Bay, Crabtree, Cradoc, Cygnet, Franklin, Glen Huon, Grove, Huonville, Judbury, Kingston, Leslie Vale, Lower Longley, Lucaston, Mountain River, Ranelagh, Sandfly, South Hobart, Taroona, Woodstock.