Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and can fracture with minimal trauma, such as a rib fracture caused by sneezing. There are many factors that can influence your risk of Osteoporosis. Some of these are not changeable, including age (>50), gender (female post-menopausal), family history, early onset of menopause, long term corticosteroid use, small frame size and delayed puberty or early onset of menopause.
Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease whereby the bones in your body become fragile as bone mass is lost. This can, in turn, lead to bone fractures. The most common site for bone fractures in osteoporotic people are the spine, wrist and hip.
Many people are under the impression that this should only be a concern for their grandmothers or mothers, although this is not the case as more and more of our population are sedentary and do not consume an adequate amount of nutritious foods, especially those high in vitamin D and calcium.
Pilates is a great activity for osteoporotic people as it incorporates weight bearing exercises which are critical for the process of bone breakdown and re-laying of new bone. Weight bearing exercises can help to prevent, slow down and sometimes reverse the effects of osteoporosis.
Any form of exercise that works to ‘surprise’ your bones will help to stimulate the growth of bones, Pilates included. When bones are challenged they produce cells called osteoblasts which improve your bone density.
As well as all of these benefits Pilates helps to increase your co-ordination, balance, and reflexes helping you to avoid falling. If you do fall you may well be able to catch yourself in time and prevent a bone fracture.
– Nicole instructs Studio Pilates at Melbourne Osteopathy Sports Injury Centre. She also takes Private Pilates classes.
You can find out more information about Pilates classes on our Centre’s Pilates page.