How you can take action to maintain your healthy bones 1



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The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has named osteoporosis as the number one cause of death for those suffering musculoskeletal disease.

According to the AIHW, 1,600 people die each year, which makes your bone health a serious business.

Fractures can break your lifecycle
As you get older, a fracture — like a hip fracture — can dramatically reduce your independence and quality of life. Worst of all, it can lead to premature death.

When you fracture your hip, every other system in the body that stands to benefit from even mild physical activity (think light housework or doing the shopping for example) will be impacted.

Preventing hip fractures will therefore reduce mortality because the negative spiral of events that typically follows can be avoided.

Where science meets exercise
Regardless of your age, your bones are never too old to appreciate a good workout, however the key is doing the right kind of exercise.

Traditionally, low impact exercise has been the cautionary fitness advice you’ve been given as you’ve reached your 60s and beyond, but activities like walking, swimming and yoga won’t help your bones.

In fact, medical professionals now know only a certain combination of exercises will improve your bones and prevent the falls that cause fractures.

The Bone Clinic, Australia’s only specialist centre dedicated to osteoporosis prevention and treatment, has found that bones love to be loaded with heavy resistance weight training — and importantly — that it is safe for you to do so no matter your age. Just be sure your workout is supervised and tailored to your individual fitness level.

Your bones respond slowly (most doctors will order a bone scan every two years or so), but The Bone Clinic has recorded impressive results in reversing the effects of osteoporosis. In two case studies with female patients, The Bone Clinic substantially improved the bone mass of both without the inclusion of bone medications.

The increased bone density came from a scientifically tested exercise program that was specifically designed to target bone and encourage strength and stability.

The Bone Clinic found that through its bone-targeted workout, clients regained lost muscle and reported feeling stronger and more stable. Additionally, they were found to have burned fat, and those who attended the clinic with a Dowager’s hump were able to stand straighter than before. Such changes also led to improvements in functional ability and patients’ quality of life.

I encourage you to discuss your bone health with your GP, review your calcium and vitamin D intake, and your exercise program to ensure it is suitable for your age and your body. You want to ensure it is the most efficient use of your physical activity so that you are getting the maximum health benefit.

One way to determine how healthy your bones are is to ask for a DXA scan. This is a special X-ray that measures your bone mineral density.

Dr Belinda Beck

Belinda Beck is a Professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences at Griffith University, Gold Coast campus where she teaches musculoskeletal anatomy and conducts bone research. The Bone Clinic provides her with the opportunity to translate 25 years of research findings into real life solutions for people with conditions affecting bone health. The Bone Clinic

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