I was lucky enough to be able to attend an Osteoporosis Workshop in London on 2nd September by Cherry Baker. She is one of the leading trainers in Pilates, back care and osteoporosis. I wanted to share some of the key points covered on the course.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a ‘systemic skeletal disorder characterised by low bone mass and micro-architectural deterioration of bone and tissue, with consequent increase in bone fragility and susceptibility of fracture’ (Consensus Department Conference, 1993).
Cherry’s easier to understand definition is ‘bone becomes thinner and more fragile’.
Whilst osteoporosis affects women it can also affect men. Men also get a type of menopause due to reduced testosterone, known as ‘andropause’. Hence everyone should be aware of how to reduce the likelihood of getting osteoporosis, not just women. It’s great that I am getting more and more men coming to my classes now. This shows they are realising the need to do Pilates and the benefits to them.
What you need to do to help yourself
- You should stand up for over 4 hours a day to reduce the likelihood of getting OP. That means moving around as much as possible. Walking is great exercise.
- Weight-bearing, weight-resistance exercises – increase weight and less reps. Pilates is great, but get to the gym too if you can.
- Target vulnerable fracture sites such as wrists, hips and spine. We do this in many of the exercises we cover in my classes.
- Reduce fizzy drinks.
- Reduce caffeine.
- Eat a balanced diet with enough nutrients to maintain a healthy weight (especially calcium and vitamin D).
If you do have osteoporosis it is really important that you keep exercising, but you need to know which exercises will help you. During my classes, I will be telling you more about specific exercises to help strengthen bones, as well as which exercises to avoid if you have osteoporosis. See you in my Pilates classes to learn more.
Weight training is also an excellent way to ensure your bones remain strong. Learn more about the benefits and myths of weight training in my article Women, Weight Training and Weight Loss.