EXERCISE & OSTEOPOROSIS

Osteoporosis is a preventable, but common disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. It progresses painlessly until a bone breaks leading to falls, surgery, and a whole host of potentially deadly complications as well as chronic pain.

Your bones are made of living tissue that’s constantly breaking down and rebuilding itself. To stay alive and do their work, bones need minerals like calcium and magnesium, and vitamins like vitamin D.

Plus… they need physical activity to help the bones take in mineral content. Putting force on bones through weight bearing and weight resistance exercises sets up a mini electrical current in the bone. This current termed the “piezoelectric effect” draws calcium, magnesium, and other minerals needed for bone density and strength, reports Northrup.

Isometric refers to the type of muscle contraction used during the exercise. “Iso,” means equal and “metric” means measure. With isometric exercises, the length of the muscle doesn’t change and there is no visible movement at the joint.

These exercises involve a muscle contraction against an immovable resistance like pushing against a fixed surface or attempting to lift a fixed object or holding a weight steady. The weight could be your own body weight.

They’re simple to do and can be done most anywhere. Rhythmic breathing and holding the spine in good alignment are key. Rhythmic breathing provides oxygen and prevents unnecessary stress against the heart.

Holding your back straight (but not stiff) with chin tucked in, along with gently tightening lower abdominal muscles and buttock muscles helps stabilize the spine.


Exercise training is an adaptive process. The body will adapt to the stress of exercise with increased fitness if the stress is above a minimum threshold intensity. Meaning, we can adapt and keep building bone as long as there is sufficient stimulation (load). 

An interesting aspect of skeletal muscle is its adaptability. If a muscle is stressed (within tolerable limits), it adapts and improves its function. For example, weight lifters exercise their arms and shoulders, so their muscles hypertrophy and improve their strength. Larger muscles allow them to accommodate an increased load. Likewise, if a muscle receives less stress than it's used to, it atrophies. For example, the muscles of a casted leg atrophy in response to disuse.


The purpose of physical training is to stress systematically the body so it improves its capacity to exercise. Physical training is beneficial only as long as it forces the body to adapt to the stress of physical effort. If the stress is not sufficient to overload the body, then no adaptation occurs. If a stress cannot be tolerated, then injury or over-training results. Significant improvements in performance occur when the appropriate exercise stresses are introduced into the athlete's training program. Physical fitness is largely a reflection of the level of training. When an athlete is working hard, fitness is high. However, when heavy training ceases, fitness begins to deteriorate.


PILATES TRANSLATES PERFECTLY TO STEEL MACE TRAINING

In order to continue stimulate our muscles and bone growth, we need to load our musculoskeletal system with sufficient load. This does not need to be heavy weights. We can get stronger and stay supple and flexible using a 10 lb. steel mace. The steel mace uses the same concepts of concentration, centering, control, precision, breathing, and flow. 

Fahey, T.D. “Adaptation to Exercise: Progressive Resistance Exercise.T.D.” ADAPTATION to Progressive Resistance Exercise, In: Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science, 7 Mar. 1998, www.sportsci.org/encyc/adaptex/adaptex.html.

Swezey, R L, et al. “Isometric Progressive Resistive Exercise for Osteoporosis.” The Journal of Rheumatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2000,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10813298.



 
Erin Johnson