Exercise: Can a few minutes a day keep a hip fracture away?

Let’s face it: we’re all getting older. As I write this, I’m growing old, and as you learn this, you’re, too! Right this moment I need to discuss a side of growing old that we don’t typically take into consideration, however which analysis exhibits we are able to do one thing about: osteoporosis, or brittle bone illness.

As we age, our bones naturally are likely to turn out to be weaker. That is one cause that folks typically turn out to be barely shorter as they age. Notably for girls, this course of accelerates extra rapidly after menopause. As a result of bones turn out to be weaker, it’s simpler for them to interrupt, typically with little or no provocation. Hip fractures are an particularly dreaded complication of osteoporosis, as a result of they require hospitalizations and painful surgical procedures to restore, as a result of recoveries will be significantly sophisticated, and lastly, as a result of it sounds completely terrifying to interrupt a hip! For all these causes, the medical group worries about osteoporosis and we’re consistently considering of the way to forestall or ameliorate it.

There’s a rising physique of proof that bodily exercise later in life (in addition to earlier in life!) may help fight the consequences of growing old on our bones. Now, I do know what you’re considering — I don’t have time to train! Nicely, I’ve excellent news for you. Just a bit little bit of the precise kind of train for only a few minutes a day might assist.

You don’t want to coach for a marathon to strengthen your bones

A recent study regarded on the amount and high quality of train required to make an actual change in bone power, in addition to find out how to measure that train. Researchers accessed pre-existing information from a big, public database within the UK with a purpose to be taught extra about how train impacts bone well being in a gaggle of wholesome girls in danger for brittle bones. On this research, each pre- and post-menopausal girls wore accelerometers to document the depth of their actions. The researchers wished to see if they might be taught in regards to the sufferers’ actions with very transient measurements, and so they discovered that they might.

Extra apparently, what they discovered was that the ladies who had probably the most intense exercise, recorded for what amounted to only one to 2 minutes every day, had a discount in danger for brittle bones. Moreover, they’d the next discount than these girls who did much less intense exercise, though these girls noticed some discount in danger too. And the depth required to realize this? One to 2 minutes of operating for a pre-menopausal lady and gradual jogging for a post-menopausal lady.

Extra help for train and bone well being

The research had some limitations. First, it measured bone well being by taking a look at bone density within the heel by ultrasound. One of the best ways to measure bone density is actually with a particular x-ray known as a DEXA scan. We additionally care much less about bone well being within the heel and extra about bone well being within the backbone and hip — locations the place a fracture is extra harmful. Nonetheless, the overall discovering of higher bone well being in those that train has been seen all through the medical literature, so I believe we are able to nonetheless safely depend upon the outcomes of this research. One other potential limitation is that the sufferers they studied had been all Caucasian females. Nonetheless, there isn’t a cause to presume that the analysis wouldn’t apply to wholesome girls of different ethnicities as effectively.

This research is so essential as a result of it actually provides all of us such an affordable purpose. Can we give it our strongest effort for one to 2 minutes a day? I believe we are able to. It additionally exhibits that if we make a small, measurable, however common change, we are able to all dance, run, jog, soar, or hop our option to higher well being!

The submit Exercise: Can a few minutes a day keep a hip fracture away? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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Exercise: Can a few minutes a day keep a hip fracture away?

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