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Osteoporosis | Reformer Pilates

Osteoporosis is a condition affecting bone density. Bones are mostly made up of collagen, a protein that provides the flexible framework of bone, and minerals such as calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate that provide rigidity and strength to the framework. Bone cells are constantly changing and adapting to their environment, with bones responding to the demands and stresses placed on them. If you do not use your muscles and bones they will become weaker, but if you stay active and use your muscles then bones become stronger due to imposed demands. Osteoporosis develops when bones lose minerals faster than the body replaces them, meaning the bones decrease in mass and density. Overtime the bones become more fragile and brittle.

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To keep osteoporosis at bay – or to manage current bone mineral density - exercises that load bones and high impact exercise help to increase bone density along with a healthy diet. Lifting heavy weights and high impact sports are classic methods to load bones and impact bone density, however Reformer Pilates is a fantastic way to enjoy low impact exercise but still be beneficial for good bone health.  and exercises like Reformer HIIT, Met.Con and Intermediate Reformers sessions are all very beneficial for good bone health. Make it your mission to keep your bones as healthy as possible by maintaining a healthful, nutritious and alkaline diet along with high impact and weight training exercises 3 times per week.

The greatest amount of bone is built during childhood and adolescence. By age 18 in girls and 20 in boys, nearly 90 percent of “peak bone mass” is reached. However the amount of bone tissue can keep increasing until around age 30. Therefore it is important to participate in exercise that loads your bones like Reformer Pilates to reach your "peak bone mass". If you have been diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis it is important to eat a healthy diet with adequate calcium, get sufficient vitamin D, quit smoking, reduce alcohol and caffeine intake and undertake bone loading exercises 2-3 times per week. 

If done correctly Reformer Pilates offers a great platform for strengthening bones and preventing fractures.

Pilates exercises can:
• increase bone density
• increase muscle strength and mass, allowing the body to support the bones weakened by osteoporosis
• improve coordination and balance which can help to prevent falls
• improve flexibility and posture and help reverse some of the postural changes as a result osteoporosis.

At any.BODY Pilates & Exercise Physiology Elle will ensure she understands your medical history with bone mineral density scan being carried out to to distinguish between those people that have osteoporosis, osteopenia and those with normal bone density. Currently scheduled on Wednesday at 4:30pm there is an over 50's Restorative Pilates class for anybody that wishes to be introduced to reformer Pilates and may be facing certain ailments. 
For those people that do not have osteoporosis the aim is to increase bone density and prevent bone loss. Weight bearing exercises need to have an effect on the bone, be regular and need to be moderate to vigorous in intensity e.g. jogging, jumping, stair climbing, walking up hills, tennis, aerobics. Therefore Elle will be sure to prescribe weight bearing exercises outside of your strength training reformer Pilates exercises. 

A diagnosis of osteoporosis requires a great deal more care and consideration when designing an at home and in the studio exercise program or reformer pilates program.

IHigh intensity exercises are not recommended, the aim is to maintain bone strength and reduce the risk of falls and fractures by improving posture, balance and muscle strength. Exercises to be avoided are those that place strain on the spine including trunk flexion (bending forward or sit ups), twisting movements and high impact exercises. 

If you wish to discuss the role of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and an Exercise Program or Reformer Pilates Program in the management of osteopenia or osteoporosis please contact Elle for further information about booking an initial consultation. Medicare benefits apply so please ask your local GP about exercise for the management of osteoporosis and osteopenia.  

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