Exercise Today Keeps Osteoporosis Away
Osteoporosis is known as the “silent thief” because symptoms often remain hidden while bone loss manifests. Many people remain unaware of the threat until their bones are sufficiently weakened to the point that a simple fall can cause a debilitating fracture.
Isometric exercises involve tensing a muscle and holding it stationary while maintaining the tension, and evidence hints at their utility in combating the effects of osteoporosis. Forty-one postmenopausal women (a high risk group for the disease) with osteoporosis participated in a two-part study that evaluated the effect of isometric exercise on muscle strengthening and bone loss. Exercises incorporated an inflatable ball with attached nonelastic straps providing progressive resistance.
Study participants performed 10 exercises every other day (half each day) with one exercise-free day per week; each exercise session lasted approximately 5-10 minutes. Eight weeks of training improved muscle strength and bone formation, with no further loss of bone noted.
Women in particular are at risk for osteoporosis following menopause because levels of circulating hormones drop noticeably. Your doctor can tell you more about the dangers of osteoporosis and what you can do to minimize or prevent the “silent thief” from attacking.
Swezey RL, Swezey A, Adams J. Isometric progressive resistive exercise for osteoporosis. Journal of Rheumatology 2000: Vol. 27, No. 5, pp1260-64.
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