Trampoline and nutrition - what your bones need for osteoporosis
For our children, we do everything so that they 'grow up big and strong.' We want them to experience the best possible physical development, ensuring that they get proper nutrition and enough exercise to build a robust immune system and strong bones. Unfortunately, as we grow older, we often pay less attention to getting enough daily physical activity for ourselves. As a result, our bones, which carry, support, and stabilize us throughout our lives, become weaker - and osteoporosis is often the result. Therefore, as we age, it is essential to pay attention not only to our overall health and fitness, but also to the health of our bones, ensuring they get the stimulation and support to keep them strong.
Strong bones and less risk of osteoporosis
On average, our skeleton makes up about 12-15% of our body weight. So for a 175 lb person, their bones weigh about 22-26 lbs. Even if someone has a denser skeleton with thicker bones, it will only add about two to four pounds to their total skeletal weight.
Ideal weight - not too much, not too little
One of the most common risk factors for osteoporosis is weight: being either overweight or underweight can negatively impact bone health. If osteoporosis is present, excess weight can lead to spine deformation and joint wear and tear from the body mass pressing on the skeleton. However, being underweight may indicate that someone lacks the nutrients essential for bone metabolism, such as calcium, which can lead to lower bone density.
Exercise without osteoporosis pain
People already experiencing osteoporosis issues can gain a lot from exercise. Older people, who may be inactive, are particularly at risk, as immobility leads to muscle atrophy, loss of bone mass, and increased susceptibility to fractures. So, it's particularly important for older adults to exercise regularly to maintain their strength and vitality. It doesn't have to be a sweaty workout - studies show that even regular walking, running, or hiking positively affects bone density. Of course, the earlier you get started, the better, since regular physical training before age 40 is associated with a lower risk of falls in older people. Exercising in the fresh air has the added advantage of providing vitamin D from the sun, which helps support calcium absorption.
Be aware of harmful habits
Some personal habits can negatively affect our bone health, such as alcohol and cigarette consumption. Both alcohol and cigarettes contain toxic substances that can interfere with bone metabolism and, by depriving the body of essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, promote the breakdown of bone mass and block bone formation. In addition, inflammations in the joints are also more likely.
Osteoporosis quickly explained
Osteoporosis is defined by low bone mass (sometimes called low 'bone mineral density') due to a deterioration of the bone's internal structure, making bones more prone to fracture. According to the latest figures, about 8 million women and 2 million men in the USA suffer from osteoporosis.Osteoporotic fractures occur most frequently in the vertebrae of the spine, the neck of the femur, and the wrist. The two main categories of osteoporosis are primary and secondary osteoporosis. Primary osteoporosis, which is much more common, includes postmenopausal osteoporosis and osteoporosis of old age. Secondary osteoporosis occurs due to a metabolic disease or hormonal disorder and is a common cause of osteoporosis in men (about 50% of those affected).
Bones are living tissue
Our skeleton, an assemblage of approximately 210 bones, is more than a supporting and structural apparatus. Bones stabilize, sustain, and strengthen us in everything we do. The structure of bones allows them to serve us well, being made of regenerative tissue that flexibly adapts to internal requirements - throughout our lives. We can actively support this regeneration by paying attention to the intake of certain substances.
How bone formation works
Three types of cells are responsible for bone formation - regardless of age: The osteoclasts, which dissolve old or brittle bones; the osteoblasts, which form new bone; and the osteocytes, located inside the bone, which sense the loads being supported and coordinate bone formation or degradation. They 'mediate', in this sense, between osteoblasts and osteoclasts.
We only absorb about 20% of our vitamin D needs from food. Vitamin D supports calcium absorption and thus has a direct, stimulating effect on muscle tissue and bone density, reducing the risk of falls and fractures by about 20%. The guideline value is 50 nmol/L, but the vitamin D value should not be below 30 nmol/L. Only then, according to specialists, does vitamin D contribute to maintaining bone health. A blood test at the doctor's office can detect a vitamin D deficiency. Though Vitamin D can be obtained from food or supplements, the most substantial source is sunlight absorbed through the skin. Therefore, it's beneficial, weather permitting, to go outside whenever possible with an uncovered face, arms, and legs. Doing so can provide 80 to 90 % of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D. Of course, you can also combine exercise with your time in the sun! Take your bellicon mini-trampoline outdoors and enjoy a sun-filled rebounding workout in the fresh air.
Calcium is responsible for many functions in our body, including the contraction of muscles, which is one of the most important contributors to building bones. Around 98% of our calcium food intake is stored in our bones. Natural sources of calcium include dairy products, sardines, and nuts. People with a high and constant vitamin D level can absorb more calcium. Combined with adequate vitamin D, a calcium intake of about 800 mg daily is considered satisfactory. However, if the body does not have enough calcium, it tries to compensate for the resulting deficiency by releasing calcium from the bones. If this lack of calcium continues over time, this demineralization of the bones can lead to osteoporosis or aggravate the condition if it already exists.
Besides minerals and trace elements such as zinc, boron, and copper, magnesium is indispensable for healthy bone formation. Magnesium deficiency is widespread, however, without most people even noticing it. Studies and estimates in the health sector assume that between 70 and 96 percent of the population suffers from magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is the co-factor of calcium since calcium can only be properly utilized if there are sufficient amounts of magnesium. The recommended minimum daily magnesium intake is about 320 mg for women and about 400 mg for men - of course, this depends on individual eating and lifestyle habits.
Important to mention in this list are proteins. Senior citizens, in particular, consume too little protein. As a result, they struggle with muscle atrophy, sarcopenia, and frailty, leading to an increased risk of falls and fractures. Proteins are the building blocks that not only give cells structure but are also responsible for essential functions such as cell movement, the transport of metabolic products, the exchange of electrolytes as well as the recognition of signals or the adaptation of the body to changed circumstances. An insufficient supply can lead to a breakdown of bone density and musculature. We can't stop the aging process, but we can slow it down considerably with a balanced protein-rich diet. High-protein diets thus have a dual benefit in preventing and treating osteoporosis: they help build bone and muscle.
What does a mini-trampoline have to do with osteoporosis?
We can tell you: quite a lot! Studies have shown that about 28-35% of people over 65 fall at least once a year and need medical care afterward. First, rebounding on the bellicon is gentle on the joints due to the custom-formulated bungee rings that produce no tug at the bottom of the bounce. So, unlike steel spring trampolines, you train in a more joint-friendly and enjoyable way. Also, rebounding exercise can reduce the fear of falling and improve mobility and balance. The pressure created when landing on the jumping surface strengthens the bones, which counteracts osteoporosis. The 12-week study of osteoporosis patients showed that a mixture of balance, strength, and jumping exercises can help prevent or alleviate the symptoms of osteoporosis while reducing the fear of falling and improving fall prevention. The test persons had better control over their movements and less pain.
To give you an impression of what to expect during a bellicon training session, we've put together a series of special exercises for osteoporosis on our online training platform. In the Quick Tip Video you can see what to expect. Interested? Then take a look at our training platform right now!