What is Osteoporosis?
As people age, they are more prone to being affected by osteoporosis, a disease that causes the bones to become weak and brittle. While it is often considered a woman’s disease, it afflicts men as well. It is estimated that 44 million American men and women currently have either osteoporosis or osteopenia, a thinning of the bone mass that is a precursor to the disease. Research has proven that exercise is effective in preventing and reversing the effects of osteoporosis. Pilates is a form of strengthening exercises that can help to prevent the disease and, when used with modifications and precautions, may reverse some of the effects of osteoporosis.
How Does Pilates Prevent Osteoporosis?
Physical exercise is an important step in the prevention of osteoporosis. Even better are those exercises that improve muscle strength and balance, as maintaining muscle protects the bones and improving balance prevents falls. Pilates does both of these things, and so it is a good option for an aging person at risk for developing osteoporosis.
Pilates also promotes muscle symmetry, helping to balance out the body. The development of a strong core and pelvis reinforces good posture and can decrease the odds of falling.
Are Modifications Needed?
A healthy person should be able to perform most or all of the Pilates exercises. Many exercises can be modified to be safer for a person with a physical condition such as back pain or stiffness in the knees. Regular Pilates exercises can help to prevent osteoporosis and a number of other physical injuries