- Back in the Stone Ages a woman like Bonnie would have had a healthy diet, with a plentiful supply of calcium and vitamin D, plus lack of caffeine and alcohol should have ensured healthy strong bones.
She may not have lived as long as we do …generally speaking… but she most certainly would not have suffered from Osteoporosis.
The word Osteoporosis quite literally means ‘porous bones’ and is often referred to as the fragile bone disease.
Consider how many labour saving devices we feel we can’t live without which may make our lives easier but mean we are not using our bodies and in turn our bones the way that they were designed to be used.
These days, we have stopped using our muscles and backs for the purpose they were designed.
Bonnie would have had no need to enrol in a group exercise class specifically developed to enhance her health & well-being!
According to the National Osteoporosis Society in the U.K.
“1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will break a bone as a result of osteoporosis”
Sufferers of Osteoporosis need to focus on the following key elements of movement and activity.
- Balance ~ Fear of falling is more common than one might think. The ability to get up and down off the floor with dignity is a major consideration …and one that we address early on in our course of classes.
- Poise ~ Composure, self-assurance, aplomb, call it what you will. It is very hard to look poised and in control when all the time terrified of falling – and as a consequence perhaps suffering a broken bone/ hip. It is really important to learn all you can about core stability, which in turn focuses on how the abdominal muscles are required to assist the back muscles …forming an internal corset.
- Strength ~ Substituting safer more appropriate exercises for strengthening the back and abdominal muscles, than are traditionally taught in gyms and group exercise classes is crucial. Particular attention must be paid to protecting the thoracic spine. Traditional curl-ups / sit-ups, we now know, can cause more harm than good and are not the most efficient way to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles.
- Flexibility ~ It is no surprise that with every passing year our muscles become less flexible, mainly through lack of use and bad postural habits ~ which we develop gradually and not always as a result of injury.
Muscles which have developed bad habits and have in turn shortened or lengthened will no longer be able to do the job they were designed to do. They are forced to do the only job they can do…. until one day something gives up the fight! The good news is that it IS possible to re-align the body by slowly re-balancing muscle length, allowing the body to work far more efficiently.
- Confidence ~ As your body re-learns how it should be held and that it is possible to perform tasks safely, like reversing the car, lifting a small child, swinging a golf club, standing for more than a few minutes without searching for a seat, the list is endless. Systematically working on each of the previous elements will restore your faith in your body and it’s abilities.
- Everyday Living ~
- Can you stand in the middle of the room, safely, and put your tights on?
- Do you need to haul yourself up off the floor holding onto the furniture?
- Can you reach the top shelf in the supermarket?
- Do you always need a shoehorn?
- Could you run for a bus/ cross the road quickly if required?
- Can you put on your coat without a struggle?
- Have you stopped doing tasks you used to take for granted?
- Do your skirts / trousers appear to be longer?
With a good daily practice, you can be certain that your quality of life will be vastly improve.
Maybe one day you WILL run for that bus and actually catch it!!!
We are offering our OsteoPilates classes as a positive, maintenance/preventative measure to women who feel they are at high risk from this silent disease. NB If you believe yourself to be at high risk from, or already have, osteopenia or osteoporosis you will need permission from your GP to take part in our specialist classes.