MY OSTEOPOROSIS RECIPE FOR IMPROVING YOUR BONE DENSITY IN A YEAR
by Dianne Mavor Physiotherapist
I realised I had lost a centrimetre in height in Feb 14 and looked at my Mum who seemed to be shrinking before my eyes. I thought maybe I am risk for osteoporosis so in MAY 2014 I had a bone density test. This showed I had normal results for my lumbar spine but osteopenia (a higher risk for fracture) in my femoral head. My BMI remains between 20 to 21. My GP recommended a calcium supplement but I was not keen.
As a physiotherapist I found Dr Snow’s research which had good results with 6 weight bearing exercises. She had her subjects go to exercise classes 3 times per week for 60 mins. I decided to do the following 6 exercises with minimal reps and increased the weights over time.
See the following 6 exercises which I still do 3 times per week and it takes me 10 to 15 mins each session.
The exercises are
- Squat – 20 reps
- Chair raises – 20 reps
- Rocking onto heels – 20 reps
- Step ups – 20 reps
- Lunges – 20 reps
- Jumps – 200
In addition I walk with a weighted belt every second night.
I started with 5kgs and now in 2017 have progressed to 12 kg.
It is very important to get a comfortable weighted vest or you just won’t use it. I initially had a very uncomfortable weighted vest and did not walk with it. My new vest which does not go over my head is so easy to use.
In October 2015 I retested my bone density and my femoral neck reading had improved by 4.26%. My lumbar spine reading was unchanged. This result was achieved with no supplements or change in diet.
I have continued to do these exercises and plan for a retest in October 2017.
Are you worried or what to know more about your bone density?
The exercises regime mentioned above worked for myself. A tailored program for you depends on factors such as your physical level and medical conditions.
Our doctors at East Perth Medical Centre will refer you for a bone density test and then to myself for an individualised exercise program.