Most of us have heard that physical activity can help with the osteoporosis, but most of us don’t know that physical activity is presented as the only known intervention that can potentially increase bone mass and strength in the early years of life and reduce the risk of falling in older populations according to a new Position Stand from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) posted November 2004.
Research is constantly finding more and more reasons why physical activity is so very important and this paper presented by ACSM is finding one more. According to ACSM hip fractures will double by 2025 with a mortality rate of 15 to 20 percent within the first year of having such a fall. This makes physical activity very important no matter what age. We need physical activity to increase our bone mass in our youth and to maintain it in our adulthood. It’s important that we understand the type of activity, duration and frequency in order to pursue good bone health.
For adults weight bearing activities where our bodies are our resistance and we are moving them through space, such as tennis, walking, jogging, or activities that involve jumping, stepping, etc., are important. We need to keep the intensity moderate to high. You should feel like you’re working hard, but you can carry on a conversation and are able to continue the exercise for the entire duration. Duration needs to be a combined 30-60 minutes a day or at least most days of the week. Remember you can break up your time to 15-20 minute sessions three times a day or do it all at once. Resistance training 2-3 times a week is also very important and can help immensely.
Since physical activity has proven to help build bone in children we need to make sure they are getting enough exercise as well. According to ACSM impact activities such as gymnastics and jumping activities combined with moderate resistance training is important. Intensity should be high, but keep resistance training low to moderate. Three days a week is the goal, but make sure your children are always getting out and moving everyday, especially since childhood obesity is at its highest.
Once again we have found another important reason to get out and be active. Osteoporosis is something we can prevent through physical activity. It’s never too late to start and be sure to encourage our youth to do the same to develop a good bone mass base.