Resistance exercise, also known as strength training, plays a vital role in managing and preventing osteoporosis, a condition characterised by reduced bone density and increased risk of bone fractures. In Australia, osteoporosis affects a significant portion of the population, particularly older adults with an estimated 1.2 million having osteoporosis, and a further 6.3 million having low bone density (prone to developing osteoporosis). Engaging in regular resistance exercise has shown to have a positive impact on bone health. It involves applying resistance to the muscles, which stimulates the bones to become stronger and denser over time.
Studies have demonstrated that resistance exercise can help increase bone mineral density, particularly in the spine and hips, which are common fracture sites in individuals with osteoporosis. Research conducted by the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health revealed that women who regularly participated in resistance training had significantly higher bone mineral density compared to those who did not engage in such exercise. By improving bone density, resistance exercise helps reduce the risk of fractures and enhances overall bone strength, providing individuals with a greater ability to manage and prevent osteoporosis-related complications.
In addition to improving bone density, resistance exercise can also help reduce the risk of falls, which is a significant concern for individuals with osteoporosis. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalisations among older Australians. By engaging in resistance training, individuals can improve their muscular strength, balance, and coordination, thereby reducing the likelihood of falls.
In conclusion, resistance exercise plays a crucial role in managing and preventing osteoporosis. By increasing bone density and reducing the risk of falls, it offers significant benefits to individuals with osteoporosis. The statistics highlight the prevalence of osteoporosis in Australia, underscoring the importance of incorporating resistance exercise into preventive and management strategies. By prioritising regular resistance training, individuals can improve their bone health, reduce the risk of fractures, and enhance their overall quality of life.