Vibration Training and Osteoporosis

“Effect of 6-month whole body vibration training on hip density, muscle strength in postmenopausal women.” – Katholieke Universiteit, Belgium – After 24 weeks Vibration training significantly increased bone mass density of the hip and might be useful in the prevention of osteoporosis. No vibration side effects were observed.  This may be an effective way to modify well-recognized risk factors for falls and fractures in older women.

What is Osteoporosis?

We are all very familiar with the word Osteoporosis but what is it exactly?

It is a thinning of the bones that occurs over time for most people. Although most common in women, it can also affect men as they age. Osteoporosis is associated with 1.2 million bone fractures each year.

Information from the Mayo clinic states that one cause is a lack of calcium in the diet and/or the body’s inability to absorb it.  Adults need 1200 to 1500 mg per day but the average diet contains about 750 mg. For this reason, many doctors advise taking a 600 to 800 mg. supplement of calcium every day along with adequate Vitamin D intake as food or as supplements. Studies have shown this type of supplementation reduces the occurrence of hip fractures by up to 30 percent. Without enough calcium in the diet, the body will leach it from the bones, causing them to weaken over time. Without enough Vitamin D and magnesium, the bones cannot absorb the calcium.

How to Keep your Bones Strong

On Dr. Mercola’s website he gives this advice for keeping your bones strong.

  • Increase your consumption of vegetables or try vegetable juicing.
  • Eat high quality, organic, biodynamic, locally grown food. These “clean” foods are more nutrient dense.
  • Avoid processed foods. They will produce biochemical and metabolic conditions in your body that will decrease your bone density.
  • Consume a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats by eliminating processed vegetable oils such as corn, canola, safflower and soy. These are too high in Omega-6 fats and will over balance the omega-3’s
  • Most everyone needs to supplement a high quality omega-3 fat preferably from small fish sources such as krill or sardine oil. Larger fish such as salmon feed further up the food chain on sources that are already contaminated with mercury. Smaller fish live on ocean greens not other fish.
  • Avoid gluten, a grain protein that has been shown to decrease bone density. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt.
  • Avoid soda and sugar which deplete your bones of calcium.
  • Consider supplementing with vitamin K2 if you are not getting enough from dark green foods alone. Vitamin K2 serves as the biological “glue” that helps plug the calcium into your bone matrix. The dose is about 185 mcg per day.
  • EXERCISE! This is just as important to your bone health as eating a calcium-rich diet.

Evidence shows that exercise may help build and maintain bone density at any age. Weight bearing exercise stimulates bone formation and the retention of calcium in the bones that are bearing the load. The force of muscles pulling against bones stimulates this bone building process. So any exercise that places force on a bone will strengthen that bone. Exercise also increases muscle strength, coordination and balance which decreases the likelihood of falls. Also, strong muscles help protect the bone. Walking and working with weights are just this type of exercise.

Bicycling and swimming are great for your heart and lungs. However, these are not weight-bearing exercises for osteoporosis because you are being held up by something other than your feet and legs. Walking as little as 3 – 5 miles a week can help build your bone health. For general health, most experts recommend that everyone get at least half an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise five times a week. 45 minutes to an hour is even better.

Many people worry about the safety of exercise later in life. You may be concerned if you already have osteoporosis or osteopenia. Perhaps you have never been very physically active. Whatever your concern, you can choose from a range of safe, gentle exercise options.

How Vibration Training can Help Alleviate Osteoporosis Symptoms

And this is where Whole Body Vibration Training comes in and hits the mark perfectly!  With the number of muscle vibrations per second, 10 minutes on the VibraFit Trainer is the muscular and fitness equivalent of running for an hour. And there is no stress to the joints!! Medical Research has already shown just how much difference Vibration Training makes to bone density and bone strength (lack of brittleness). In fact, it was invented for that very purpose. Flexibility is also very important for diminishing falls and breaks. Having flexible joints helps prevent injury.  Vibration Training has demonstrated its usefulness in this regard as well.

Exercising if you already have osteoporosis can help you maintain the bone mass you have but it means finding the safest, most enjoyable activities for you. Think about what kind of activities you enjoy most. If you choose an exercise you enjoy, you’re more likely to stick with it over time.