Osteoporosis And Age-Related Fractures
Millions of people suffer from osteoporosis - and its incidence increases with age. In fact, the statistics are staggering.
According to a 2005 study by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, one in every two women and one in every four men over 50 will at some point suffer an osteoporosis-related hip, spine or wrist fracture. Among women over 50, says the same study, one in every two who attend an exercise class has low bone density, putting them at risk of fracture.
There are a number of medications and supplements on the market designed to help offset the progress of osteoporosis, but many sufferers do not realize that Pilates can also do a lot to combat the effects of it. It can help improve both posture and muscle tone, and, as a bonus, it can even help alleviate some symptoms of depression that people start to feel as their health declines.
There are nine core principles of Pilates that make it a good exercise routine for those suffering from osteoporosis:
Pilates encourages attention to the quality of your movements.
Pilates gets you to focus on your form and technique.
Pilates makes you focus on breathing; and, by doing so, helps you relax.
Pilates helps you to move from a stable, balanced and flexible core.
5. Balanced Muscle Development:
Pilates helps develop symmetry of posture and muscles.
With Pilates, movement patterns are made with greater efficiency.
7. Flow and Rhythm:
Pilates focuses on smooth flowing movement.
Pilates releases tension after using the effort needed to accomplish a task.
9. Whole Body Movement:
With Pilates, movement is integrated between the mind, body and spirit.
By using the principles of Pilates, older adults are able to achieve a strong core, integrating and stabilizing their muscles, which creates a strong and balanced foundation for movement.
However, there are also some things to consider if you suffer from osteoporosis. Pilates incorporates many flexion-oriented movements - a type of movement that is contraindicated in many osteoporosis sufferers. By having a bone density scan and learning your T-Score, you can adapt your Pilates routine around your score.
As always, it is advisable to ask a doctor before starting any exercise regime.
Also see Ageing: Pilates For Later In Life