YMCA Winter 2020 - Page 20

YOUNG PEOPLE’S FACT For most people, bone density peaks in their 30s; but calcium, Vitamin D and weight bearing exercise are still important throughout life. AUTHOR ASHLEIGH MASON Ashleigh Mason is a Master-qualified physiotherapist at Upwell Health Collective in Melbourne, with a special interest in women’s health, injury management and exercise rehabilitation - to help people to live their best life. Ashleigh also has a podcast, ‘Exceptionally Average’ which you can find on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. EXERCISE FOR BONE HEATH Physiotherapist Ashleigh Mason tells YMCA Victoria all about the relationship between exercise and great bones. FEATURE ARTICLE WINTER 2020 The benefits of exercises are vast and varied. We know that exercise is great for your heart, your lungs, and your brain; but did you know that exercise is also super important for your bones? That’s right! Your daily movement ritual will help your bones as well. What is Osteoporosis and who is at risk? Osteoporosis is a common disease whereby bones lose minerals and become brittle, increasing the risk of bone breaks (even from minor bumps and falls). For most people, bone density peaks in their 30s; after that, our bone mass begins to decline, which places us at a higher risk of osteoporosis. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, osteoporosis affects over one million Australians, with females significantly more affected. Whilst there are several risk factors that you can’t modify (like age, genetics and family history), exercise is something you can do to lower your risk of osteoporosis and optimise bone health. What types of exercise are best for maintaining bone health? Research shows that weight-bearing exercise has a significant, positive effect on bone density, which is important for everyone across all age groups. There are two key factors when it comes to making sure your skeleton gets the bone-building benefits of exercise: } Exercise needs to be “weightbearing” - which means you need to be on your feet (this includes running, walking, and impact sports like basketball or tennis). } Exercise needs to be in the form of “progressive resistance training,” which means that you’re lifting weights (like strength training and gym classes), whilst ensuring you challenge yourself gradually over time by increasing the weight or resistance you use. How often should you exercise for optimal bone health? In order to be effective, weight-bearing Types of exercise and their impact on bone health: Great for bone health (highly osteogenic) Basketball / netball Impact aerobics Dancing Gymnastics Tennis Jump rope Good for bone health (moderately osteogenic) Resistance training Running / jogging Brisk / hill walking Stair climbing or progressive resistance training exercise should be completed: } At least three times per week. } Ideally for at least 30 minutes on most days. Exercise is effective and important across your lifespan - whether you’re building strong bones in childhood and adolescence, optimising bone strength in middle-adulthood, or reducing bone loss in older age. It’s never too late or too early to start exercising, but always consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Find out more about our health and wellness programs at YMCA Victoria. Less relevant for bone health (slightly osteogenic) Leisure walking Lawn bowls Yoga Pilates Tai Chi Not relevant for bone health (non- osteogenic)* Swimming Cycling *Whilst certain exercises may have low to no osteogenic benefits, this does not imply that they do not offer a wide range of other health benefits. This chart is from www.osteoporosis.org, which is also a good source of further information. 20 YMCA HEALTHY LIVING MAGAZINE