Men and Osteoporosis
Making News:Largely thought of as a female disease, osteoporosis currently affects 2 million men in the United States. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), an estimated 12 million more are at risk. Despite the large number affected, the NOF reports that osteoporosis in males is still “underdiagnosed and underreported” (www.nof.org/men/index.htm; retrieved May 21, 2008).
Joan Pagano—an IDEA presenter and a personal trainer who specializes in working with people who have osteoporosis—states that “all humans have some loss of bone mass each year after age 35.” The disease is more common in women because of their smaller bones and other factors. “However,” Pagano continues, “men are still vulnerable to various risk factors associated with lifestyle choices and medical history.” The NOF describes risk factors as smoking, excessive alcohol use, low calcium intake and inadequate physical exercise. When training a client with osteoporosis who has been cleared for exercise by a physician, consider the following suggestions, courtesy of NOF:
- Have the client engage in weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, jogging, stair climbing and team sports like basketball.
- Include resistance training for all major muscle groups.
- Focus programs on posture, balance, gait, coordination, and hip and trunk stabilization.
- Avoid twisting motions and impact activities, depending upon the severity of the condition.
- Stay in contact with the client’s physician to ensure optimal safety.
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