Osteopenia is the term used by doctors to describe low bone density. People with osteopenia have bones that are weaker than normal, but not weak enough to be called osteoporosis. Osteopenia is thought to affect around 6.3 million Australians and is an early warning sign that you should be taking action to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Osteopenia does not have any symptoms. You may not know you have a problem until you break a bone after a minor trip or fall. Once this happens, you could already have osteoporosis and your risk of breaking another bone increases. This is why it is important to start protecting your bone health as early as possible and to talk to your doctor about finding out if you are at risk of poor bone health.
Many different factors can influence your future bone health. Some are difficult to control, for example, your genes or your general health. The good news is that improving your diet and lifestyle can have a big impact on your bone strength.
5 Simple Steps to Better Bone Health
There are some simple but very important things you can do to protect your bones:
- Calcium – 3 to 5 serves of calcium rich food daily, which includes:
- Dairy foods.
- Canned salmon or sardines which contain bones rich in calcium.
- Broccoli, mustard cabbage, bok choy, silverbeet, cucumber, celery and chick peas.
- Vitamin D – get out in the sun for short periods on most days.
- Exercise – weight-bearing and resistance exercises at least 3 times a week. Try to stay active in your daily life.
- Don’t smoke.
- Keep your alcohol intake low.
Train like the Astronauts
Whole Body Vibration was used in the 1960s by the Russians to rehabilitate astronauts returning from space. Researchers at the time discovered it helped treat the muscular atrophy and bone density loss suffered in zero gravity. Just twenty short years ago, Russian astronauts were able to stay in space more than three times longer than American astronauts by using whole body vibration to protect bones and muscles. If its good enough for the astronauts, its good enough for us!
Whole Body Vibration Training & Osteoporosis
At FitLane we have a powerful training tool in the form of Whole Body Vibration Training (WBVT) using VibroGym machines. The high speed up and down movements of the platform you exercise on causes stretch reflexes, which in turn cause a tremendous amount of muscle activity. Even in static exercises all of the muscles involved are working at their optimum level.
According to the Journal of Osteporosis and Physical Activity, whole body vibration treatment greatly reduces negative effects of osteoporosis. It has been shown that Whole Body Vibration Training results in positive effect on bone mineral density, improves strength and balance. All these factors combined reduce incidence of falls and therefore reduce the risk of bone fractures.
Journal of Osteporosis and Physical Activity – https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/whole-body-vibration-training-effects-on-bone-mineral-density-inpostmenopausal-osteoporosis-a-review-2329-9509-1000150.php?aid=58099
Osteoporosis Australia – osteoporosis.org.au