What is Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis literally means ‘porous bones’. Our bones are made up of a thick outer shell and a strong inner mesh which looks like a honeycomb made up of tiny struts of bone. Osteoporosis means some of these struts become thin or break, making bones more fragile and prone to fracture. It often remains undetected until a bone is first broken, which commonly occurs in the wrists, hips and spinal bones. One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 in the UK will fracture a bone, mainly as a result of osteoporosis. The cause of the disease is still not fully understood, but research continues to build up a picture of the factors that influence our bone health.
Exercise. Your skeleton grows stronger if you do regular weight-bearing exercises. This is any kind of physical activity where you are supporting the weight of your own body, for example, jogging, aerobics, tennis, dancing or brisk walking. Weight lifting is another good type of bone-building exercise, where the action of the tendons pulling on the bones seems to boost strength.
Skipping and Bone Density
The Osteoporosis Society recommends 2 to 5 minutes of physical activity like skipping every day to help prevent osteoporosis. The benefits of physical activity like skipping in relation to osteoporosis are very well established. Weight-bearing activity that puts stress on the bone is recommended during adolescence to develop optimum bone mass. It is also beneficial to maintain activities like skipping throughout life because it minimises bone loss and provides maximum protection against osteoporosis. Skipping is an ideal activity to help prevent Osteoporosis – for further information visit the National Osteoporosis Society Website. Older people and skipping. Skipping promotes strength, balance and power so not only does it help guard against osteoporosis it could be beneficial for older people because it potentially helps to prevent falls.
Bones stay strong if you give them work to do.
Essential exercise like skipping keeps bones strong and healthy throughout life. That’s because your bones are living tissues that get stronger when you use them. As a child, exercise plays an important part in making our bones bigger and stronger; but as we get older, we start to lose bone strength. That’s why keeping up with exercise as you age is important. It strengthens your muscles and keeps your bones strong – making them less likely to break by maintaining bone strength.
Exercise that’s good for your bones
For exercise to be most effective at keeping bones strong, you need to combine:
- weight-bearing exercise with impact
- muscle strengthening exercise
Variety is good for bones, which you can achieve with different movements, directions and speeds – in an activity like skipping for example. Short bursts of activity may be best, varying the intensity.
Weight-bearing exercise with ‘impact’
You are weight-bearing when you are standing, with the weight of your whole body pulling down on your skeleton. Weight-bearing exercise with impact involves being on your feet and adding an additional force or jolt through your skeleton. You can get weight-bearing exercise with impact by taking part in some physical activity, sports or by doing specific exercises. The level of impact varies depending on what activity.