Celebrating Osteoporosis Awareness Month

Did you know that over 54 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis and low bone mass? Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by too little bone formation, excessive bone loss, or a combination of both, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures. Since May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month, let’s take the opportunity to learn about, and celebrate, bone health.

Protecting your bones

You’re never too young or too old to improve the health of your bones. The National Osteoporosis Federation (NOF) recommends:

  • Getting enough calcium and vitamin D and eat a well balanced diet.

  • Engaging in regular exercise.

  • Eating foods that are good for bone health, such as fruits and vegetables.

  • Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day.

Safe and effective exercises

Exercise is very effective for osteoporosis. These low bone mass safe exercise are grouped into two forms: weight-bearing and muscle strengthening. After all, bone adapts to the load put on it. More activity tells the body that more muscle and bone are required; less causes muscle and bone to decrease.

Weight bearing (high impact): dancing, hiking, jogging, running, stair-climbing, tennis

Weight bearing (low impact): fast walking, stair step machines

Muscle-strengthening: lifting weights, using weight machines, lifting your body weight

Pilates exercise for bone health

Several Pilates reformer exercises are great for strength, flexility, and bone building. It’s important to be aware that some exercises could increase the chance of broken bones. For instance, bending forward is generally not considered safe for anyone with spinal bone density issues. Here are some safe and effective Pilates exercises to strengthen muscle and bone (great for those with or without osteoporosis):

  • Swan

  • Overhead press

  • Scooter

  • Standing side splits

  • Footwork

  • Pulling straps

  • Footwork (and many more)

Preventing Osteoporosis

If you have osteoporosis, you can take steps to live a healthy and active life. Move safely while indoors and outdoors to rebuild bone density. If you don’t have osteoporosis or any bone density issue, you can help prevent osteoporosis by engaging in regular exercise and maintaining a well-balanced diet. 

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