As it’s Halloween today my thoughts have turned to skeletons, the type that you should be kind to, your own bones! In addition, Wednesday 20th October was National Osteoporosis Day which aims to raise awareness globally to promote better bone health.
The adult human skeleton has 206 bones that give our body its shape and allows movement. It also provides protection for our organs as well as making blood cells and storing minerals and fat. Your bones continuously renew, taking just two years during childhood and around seven years for an adult.
After about 35 years of age, the amount of new bone being made reduces, resulting in weaker bones. This particularly affects the wrists, pelvis and spine. By age 50, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will experience an osteoporotic fracture perhaps unknowingly. The word Osteoporosis means porous bones and is the name given when your bones become weak and brittle. With Osteoporosis, the spine can actually change shape causing most often a forward lean, which alters your sense of balance.
To know if you are at risk of fractures and breaks, your bone density can measured by assessing how much bone tissue you have and how strong your bones are. This procedure is known as a DEXA scan, which is a quick and painless procedure which involves lying on your back on an X-ray table so an area of your body can be scanned.
Don't be scared of your skeleton - bone health can be greatly improved with a healthy balanced diet, daily exercise such as walking and weight bearing exercise (in addition to medication). Reformer Pilates is a fantastic all over body workout focusing on core control, posture and decompressing the spine. We also incorporate balance work into a Reformer class which helps strengthen muscles and reduce the risk of falling and fracturing your bones. I have many clients that have achieved great results improving their posture since regularly incorporating Reformer Pilates into their weekly exercise routine. Using the Pilates Reformer machine (which certainly looks like a torture implement from a Halloween movie), allows you to perform controlled and precise weight bearing exercises and can have a fun cardio and bone boosting impact when we add the Jumpboard to a class. The Jumpboard provides a low impact workout that is adjusted for you, providing a fun, safe and effective bone strengthening class. If the thought of jumping terrifies you (even years after childbirth), you jump whilst lying down so no need to worry about a weak pelvic floor!
You can try the Reformer in one of our small friendly classes or book a 1-1 for more tailored instruction.
By Marion Herriott
Pilates Reformer Teacher
Marion is one of the Studios’ Pilates Reformer teachers and also takes clients on a 1-to-1 basis for either Clinical Pilates or Reformer at our sister company, Drummond Physiotherapy.