One In 3 Women Over The Age Of 50 Suffer From Osteoporosis – How Pilates Can Help

pilates for seniors

Did you know that one in 3 women over the age of 50 in Singapore suffers from Osteoporosis. Lets have a look at Pilates for Osteoporosis, and how it can help us! 

Osteoporosis is a medical condition where bones lose their density and become weakened, making them likely to fracture. Bones become fragile usually as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiencies in Vitamin D or Calcium. According to health xchange.sg, men and women over the age of 65 are at increased risk of osteoporosis.

Osteopenia also refers to a loss of bone mineral density and more fragile bones, but to a lesser extent than osteoporosis.

Estrogen, the female hormone, helps in maintaining bone mass. After women go through menopause, the estrogen levels in the body drop, and this can cause up to 20% loss of bone mass. This puts women at an increased risk of osteoporosis or fracture after menopause. Women who menopause earlier, before age 45 are at an even higher risk of osteoporosis.

Over the last 30 years in Singapore hip fractures in women have increased 5x, and in men 1.5x.

According to SingHealth, osteoporotic fractures usually occur in the hips, spine and wrist, but other areas can be affected too.  These fractures are serious because they cause pain and lead to immobility.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, 60 percent of people who fracture a hip still cannot walk independently one year later, and further, from SingHealth, 20% of people who break their hip, die within one year.

Free vector bone density and osteoporosis vector

There is no cure for osteoporosis, but the good news is there are ways we can slow down the onset and progression.

One of the ways to combat and slow the process of bone tissue loss is by keeping your bones and muscles active and strong. To manage pain and reduce the risk of fractures, it is often recommended by doctors or other professionals to partake in regular exercise. This can be a scary thing when you are trying to avoid any injuries.

Luckily, Pilates for Osteoporosis is a safe and effective form of exercise for those with osteoporosis.

How Can Pilates for Osteoporosis Help Me?

According to everydayhealth.com, Pilates exercises, when performed correctly, help with bone density as the body moves against the force of gravity. Pilates also puts emphasis on strengthening the bones and the muscles that support the hips and spine. It also promotes proper posture and spine alignment.

This makes it a good choice for people with osteoporosis, as it helps to strengthen the muscles that support the bones. Pilates also helps to improve balance and coordination, which can help to reduce the risk of falls.

In addition to the physical benefits, Pilates can also help to improve mental health. Studies have shown that Pilates can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. This is important for people with osteoporosis, as these conditions can contribute to bone loss.

So not only do we see improvements in strength, stability, posture and alignment, pilates can also improve your quality of life, improve mobility and flexibility, increase your confidence and therefore independence, reduce stress, alleviate pain, and enhance your mood! 

There are many different types of Pilates, so it is important to find a program that is appropriate for your individual needs. If you are new to Pilates, it is best to start with a beginner’s class or to work with a certified Pilates instructor.

Here are some of the benefits of Pilates for people with osteoporosis:

  • Improves core strength and flexibility
  • Helps to improve balance and coordination
  • Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Can help to prevent bone loss
  • Is a low-impact exercise, which makes it safe for people with osteoporosis

If you have osteoporosis, talk to your doctor or a certified Pilates instructor to find out if Pilates is right for you.

Here are some additional tips for choosing Pilates over other exercises when you have osteoporosis:

  • Look for a program that is designed specifically for people with osteoporosis.
  • Start with a private Pilates lesson with a certified Pilates instructor.
  • Listen to your body and stop if you feel pain.
  • Gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as you get stronger.

With careful planning and execution, Pilates can be a safe and effective way to improve your bone health and quality of life.

With all these benefits in mind, the best option for doing Pilates for osteoporosis, would be to invest in 1:1 private Pilates lessons. This way, the instructor can focus on you. They can customise the programme to suit you, and  guide you through the osteoporosis friendly exercises with care. They will monitor your movements to ensure no further risk of injury.


What Else Can I do If I Have Osteoporosis?

You may not know you even have osteoporosis. There may be no symptoms or you may experience back pain, loss of height over time, notice a stooped posture, or suffer a fracture.

To stay fracture free as long as possible we should avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake, and include calcium and vitamin D in your well balanced diet! The daily recommended intake for calcium is 1000mg, and 1200mg for those over 50 years.

We also need vitamin D as it helps with calcium absorption. Vitamin D comes from food such as salmon and eggs. If you are not getting enough from food and sunlight, you may need a supplement. In more extreme cases Drs can prescribe medications which stimulate new bone growth, and slow down the loss of bone minerals.

Overall, having osteoporosis does not mean your bones will necessarily break, but means you have a higher risk of fractures.

Exercise, nutrition, and medication if required can help to slow the progression of osteoporosis.

At Core Fitness, Pilates for Osteoporosis is conducted in a private 1:1 basis to provide a safe and effective method of exercise for people with Osteoporosis. Incorporating Pilates into your lifestyle will not only strengthen your body, but strengthen your mind and enrich your quality of life and longevity.

Contact us today to book an appointment and experience the numerous benefits of Pilates for Osteoporosis. Our team of trained physiotherapists and rehabilitation therapists is trained to design a Pilates for Osteoporosis program to benefit your bone health.

 

FAQs about Osteoporosis:

What is the cause of osteoporosis?
Primary factors include lowered levels of estrogen in women after menopause, nutritional deficiencies (low intake of calcium and vitamin D), age related bone loss, family history, medical conditions, or medications that affect bone health.

When does it onset?
Osteoporosis develops gradually over many years. Particularly after the age of 50, when menopause usually occurs, bones do not form as fast as they break down. 

Can you get rid of osteoporosis?
While there is no cure for osteoporosis, treatment aims to slow down bone loss, manage pain, and reduce the risk of fractures.

What should I do if I am diagnosed with Osteoporosis?

Take advice from your healthcare provider. This may include medications, modifications to your lifestyle, diet and exercise. If it will help you, join a support group or seek out other people with Osteoporosis.

Is it safe to exercise with Osteoporosis?
Yes, exercise plays a crucial role in managing osteoporosis by improving bone density, muscle strength, balance, and overall quality of life. Seek help from a qualified instructor who can customise exercises for you.

Is Pilates good for Osteoporosis?

Yes, performed safely with the guidance of an instructor, Pilates can help a person feel more confident, improve bone strength, posture, balance, coordination and alignment.

What is the best exercise for Osteoporosis?
Pelvic curls, arm circles, leg press, side lying leg lifts are exercises that promote bone health, muscle strength, and balance.
Do avoid high impact such as jumping.

Does reformer Pilates strengthen bones?
Yes, the Reformer is a versatile machine that provides resistance and support during exercises. With guidance from a qualified instructor, reformer Pilates can help you with increased muscle strength and bone health.

What exercises should I avoid?
Avoid high impact exercises like jumping, running or jarring.
Avoid spine-flexing exercises: Exercises that involve bending forward or twisting the spine, such as sit-ups or toe touches.
Avoid heavy weight lifting and contact sports.
Listen to your body, and make modifications where necessary.

Will I have to change my lifestyle?
Making some simple lifestyle changes can significantly help with osteoporosis management. Make sure to consume enough calcium and Vitamin D, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol, make any necessary changes to your home environment to avoid falls, and attend your regular Doctor check ups!

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