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Osteoporosis sufferers encouraged to exercise


People with osteoporosis are being encouraged to exercise regularly to boost their bone health.

People with osteoporosis are being encouraged to exercise regularly to boost their bone health and include lower-impact exercise.

Debate has previously raged over the type and frequency of activities best suited to cut the effects of the condition, which weakens bones and makes them more likely to break and affects more than 150 million worldwide.

In an attempt to clear up the confusion, a multidisciplinary panel of experts reviewed existing evidence and drew on clinical and patient opinion to reach agreement on recommendations to maximize bone health while minimizing fracture risk.

Endorsed by the Royal Osteoporosis Society, the results of the study have been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and promote the benefits of exercise and activity in preventing injuries such as broken wrists, hips and spinal bones.

The experts are encouraging those with osteoporosis to do more rather than less and undertake an exercise routine that focuses on muscle strengthening on two to three days a week. Brief bursts of moderate-impact activities, such as jogging, aerobics or Zumba, should be carried out on a daily basis if possible.

Meanwhile, for those who have previously sustained a vertebral fracture or who are frail or elderly, the advice is to include lower-impact exercise up to the level of brisk walking for 20 minutes a day.

For many, a broken bone is often the first sign of osteoporosis, while older people tend to develop a stooped posture.

In addition to regular exercise, those at risk of developing, or already suffering from, osteoporosis are advised to revise their diets to include foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, quit smoking, and reduce their alcohol consumption.

Announcing the results of the study, Dawn Skelton, a professor of ageing and health at Glasgow Caledonian University, said:

“Anyone who is new to regular physical activity, worried about their technique or unsure how to build their fitness can seek advice from any trained exercise instructor.

“Those with a history of falls or serious concerns about their balance can contact their local falls service.”

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