More than 3 million people in the UK have osteoporosis.
You didn’t misread that.
Seriously, a whopping 3,000,000+ people in the UK are estimated to have osteoporosis and osteopenia a condition that leads to approximately 500,000 broken bones every year, according to the NHS.
Now, before people start whispering into your ear about how there is “no cure” and how it is “congenital” and “unavoidable as you age”, we need to gain a quick understanding of what leads to osteoporosis, or “brittle bones disease” as it is often called:
Osteoporosis means that the bones are brittle. Contrary to popular opinion, genetics actually have very little influence over this condition. It is lifestyle that determines how strong the bones are on a day-to-day basis, and every decision a person makes will shape the mineral density of each bone.
This is where you become empowered: You’re not a victim to osteoporosis at all. In fact, YOU decide just how strong your bones will be through nutrition, deep sleep, hydration, and of course…Exercise!
For example, Anne, Clinic Pilates instructor at Osteopathic Clinic Croydon says a “Pilates Reformer Squat has tremendous benefits to the heart, joints, leg and core muscles, but it has great benefits to the leg bones, as well. Brittle femur bones are common, especially in older women, but this comfortable, simple exercise puts just the right kind of pressure onto the femur bones to increase the bone mineral density.”
Leg Circles are another great Pilates Reformer exercise with huge benefits to the bones: Here, your legs are drawing circles, which has great muscular and neurological benefits as well. But, it is the tension created during the movement that stimulates bone growth, forcing bone mineral density to increase.
The Frog is yet another common Reformer exercise that builds bone. Not only will the hips benefit greatly (making it less likely to undergo hip surgery down the road), but osteoporosis will be turned around readily as bone mass rebuilds due to the healthy, powerful force vectors present in this exercise.
The Quadruped is a great all round exercise that builds strength, coordination and balance. This is a straightforward exercise to do at home, and if you are unsure how to do this exercise watch Anne’s video here.
But it’s not just the lower body bones that benefit from Pilates exercise: The “Lat Pull”, or “Row” as it is sometimes called, is great for building the bone mineral density within the arms (both upper and lower arms) as your shoulders move you through a large range of motion. Even the often-troubled vertebrae will see some bone development as you move through this and similar resistance exercise using our Pilates Reformer.
If this sounds a bit confusing, or if you find yourself thinking that you’re not ready to take these exercises on alone, then there is no need to worry - Anne is our expert in Clinical Pilates for Osteoporosis, and she’s available to guide you through the process smoothly and safely.
Anne is a Specialist in Osteoporosis who currently treats patients at the Osteopathic Clinic in Croydon