I read in the news this week that doctors were prescribing parkrun to their patients in the UK. It seems regular exercise/activity is good for you….who knew?!
As a physiotherapist myself, I am constantly encouraging my patients to be active and work to enable them to do so. I also try and practice what I preach in my spare time and that’s where parkrun fits in.
One particular condition that can be improved by exercise is osteoporosis. “This is a disease characterised by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue, which can lead to increased risk of fracture” ().Known as the “silent thief”, bone density reduction can take a number of years without any symptoms. Unfortunately, by the time affected bones break or fracture, the disease is already fairly advanced and less treatable”. (). So the sooner we start increasing our weight bearing activities the better.
Weight-bearing exercise forces you to work against gravity. Some examples of weight-bearing exercises include weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, dancing and taking part in parkrun!
Statistics from the International Osteoporosis Foundation (Iofbonehealth.org) reports that osteoporosis affects approximately 1.4 million Canadians, mainly postmenopausal women and the elderly.
In Canada osteoporosis affects 1 in 4 women and more than 1 in 8 men over the age of 50 years, with 1 in 4 men and women having evidence of a vertebral fracture. They also report that almost 30,000 hip fractures occur each year and by 2030, the number of hip fractures is expected to quadruple ().
To prevent osteoporosis the IOF report that adults should:
1 – Ensure a nutritious diet and adequate calcium intake.
2 – Avoid under-nutrition, particularly the effects of severe weight-loss diets and eating disorders.
3 – Maintain an adequate supply of vitamin D – (being outside and exposed to the sun for a parkrun can help this).
4 – Participate in regular weight-bearing activity – (parkrun is a good example of course!)
5 – Avoid smoking and second-hand smoking.
6 – Avoid heavy drinking
The best form of exercise/activity is one that you enjoy and will continue to do regularly. parkrun is proven to benefit your physical and mental health. Both in the short term and in the long term by facilitating strong bones.
For all those who have signed up and not yet given it a try…what are you waiting for?
Nose Hill parkrun Event Director
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