So what type of exercise and how much exercise should we be doing to prevent osteoporosis?
Weight-bearing, resistance training and muscle strengthening are the most effective forms of exercise for bones.
Pilates is an excellent form of weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercise. Many exercises in the Pilates repertoire teach clients how to use their own body weight in a variety of different positions including standing, kneeling, side-lying, inverted, prone and supine.
Other forms of suitable exercise are basketball, dancing, gymnastics, netball, running, skipping, tennis, volleyball and yoga. Cycling and swimming are not considered effective weight-bearing forms of exercise.
According to the World Health Organisation, the amount of exercise we do should look something like this:
CHILDREN AGED 5-17
1. Children should do at least 60 minutes a day.
2. More than 60 minutes will have additional health benefits
3. Most of the daily physical activity should be aerobic. Vigorous intensity activity should be incorporated including muscle & bone strengthening exercise at least 3 times per week.
ADULTS AGED 18-64
1. Adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week.
2. Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
3. More than 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week will have additional health benefits.
4. Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
ADULTS OVER 65
Over 65 year olds should follow the guidelines for adults 18-64 as well as:
1. Older adults, with poor mobility, should perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on 3 or more days per week.
2. When older adults cannot do the recommended amounts of physical activity due to health conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
If you have any concerns about Osteoporosis, take a bone assessment and see if you or your family are at risk - http://www.knowyourbones.org.au
If you have any risk factors and are over 50 discuss your concerns with your doctor. It may be suitable for you to have a dexascan.