August 13, 2022
Osteoporosis is a condition of weakened bones that makes bones more likely to break under normal, everyday activity. Many times, it goes undiagnosed until fractures occur. It is estimated that over 200 million people have this disease worldwide, and it effects women about 4x as often as men, due to a hormonal component. The Cleveland Clinic shares, “after age 50, about 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetimes.”
One of the best ways to prevent this disease, minimize your risk, or even treat the disease is by engaging in weight bearing, strength-related exercise. Using movement and activity can signal your bones to build up and be stronger over time. All adults are recommended to engage in strength resistance training 2-3x per week for 20 minutes per session.
These sessions can and should look different based on your current health and physical abilities. There is not a one-size-fits all “top 3” exercises everyone should be doing. That being said, there are foundational movement patterns that are good for everyone to practice: squat, hinge, push, pull, lunge, and carry.
Think about getting up from a chair, sitting back down again and practicing that over 10x. Think about carrying a gallon of milk or bag of groceries, and hinging your hips back to pick them up and put them back down on the ground. All of these activities could easily be turned in to exercises that work your muscles and load your bones.
The key is to start out gradually. If you already have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you should reach out to your New Life Physical Therapist prior to beginning a new strength program to ensure it is safe and appropriate for you. Gradual (good) stress will create gradual change. Your muscles become stronger, your bones get the signal and stay (or get) strong, and your participation in life is fuller and more satisfactory.
Not sure where to start? Reach out to me at DrMaryRose@newlifept.com so we can identify an optimal starting point for you.