If you could take a look at the bones of someone who is has been diagnosed with Osteoporosis, they would look very different from someone with healthy bones. A close look at the inside of bone shows something like a honeycomb. When you have osteoporosis, the spaces in this honeycomb grow larger, and the bone that forms the honeycomb gets smaller. The outer shell of your bones also gets thinner. All of those makes your bones weaker.(*1)
You can compare the structure strength of a building to the structure strength of our bodies. What is the construction company used sub-par or a lesser quality steel to build the building. Along with compromised steal, the materials used to frame out all the office spaces on each floor are of lesser quality and weaker as compared to competitors. This is only to make an analogy. Code restrictions and inspections keep the construction of our building and homes to the highest quality. Think of your body the same way you would think about the structural integrity of this building. You would live in it? When you have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis, this is type of structural integrity being provided by your body.
What are some risk factors for Osteoporosis?(*1)
- Do you have a family history of broken bones or Osteoporosis
- Have broken a bone after age 50
- Had surgery to remove their ovaries before their periods stopped (Hysterectomies)
- Had early menopause
- Have a history of smoking
- Used certain medications, including medicines for arthritis and asthma and some cancer drugs
At this point, the question should be about how we can prevent Osteoporosis. The answer is simple and easy. Load bearing exercises. FYI… There are only two non-load bearing exercises that exist. And what are they? Swimming and riding your bike. I want to be noticeably clear that I support both types of exercise so if these are exercises that you partake, please continue but consider adding some squats or leg extensions while watching TV.
At the end of the day, Osteoporosis is a disease that can be prevented. Moreover, if you have been diagnosed with a low T-score (2.5 or lower), you can increase the density of your bones by performing load bearing exercises. Balance University provides those exercises for you in our BU book/guide. We will take you step-by-step using pictures to illustrate the movements that will help reverse the effects of Osteoporosis. To go along with the book, every exercise in the book has a video in our video library to ensure you or a loved one have the tools you need to succeed! Our goals are to keep people strong, mobile and independent.
Chris R. Williams
- National Institute on Aging
- National Library of Medicine
- National Institute of Health