Osteoporosis and Exercise
Osteoporosis is a very common medical problem in the elderly and in postmenopausal women. It is due to the loss of bone minerals, which normally consist 90% of the total bone mass.
An adult older than 35-40 years old loses annually about 0.5-1% of bone mass. Osteoporosis is manifested by diffuse bone algae, and predisposes to fractures.
Causes that lead to the occurrence of osteoporosis are:
- inheritance charge,
- reduced calcium intake,
- poor absorption of calcium from the digestive tract,
- hormonal causes (such as decreased estrogen levels in postmenopausal women) and
- lack of physical activity.
- Physical activity from an early age contributes to bone protection as it helps maintain the proper metabolism of bone tissue, promoting the production of osteoblasts.
Several studies have shown that regular exercise, mainly due to the mechanical loading it causes on skeleton, inhibits or slows down the loss of bone mass in adults.
The most useful exercises are those that charge the skeleton with the weight of the body, such as walking, dancing, etc. while careful handling of weights and resistances, under appropriate guidance, seems to contribute against the greatest loss of spinal bone mass.
Also, the exercise program (3-4 times per week) should include flexibility and balance improvement exercises.
Good warm-up and recovery are essential.
Careful screening should be done before a person with osteoporosis joins a fitness program regarding:
- health level,
- physical activity level,
- degree of osteoporosis,
- presence of muscle atrophies,
- gait and balance disorders, due to the high risk of easy fractures from falls during exercise.