Osteoporosis and bone health: what you may not know.

A new study revealed that simultaneously exercising and dieting over the age of 50 could have serious consequences on your bone health and osteoporosis.

Lifestyle interventions for weight loss are the cornerstone of bodyweight therapy, but the supposed “healthy dieting” tactics we have been fed for so long are now under scrutiny. Exercising more than we eat really isn’t the best way to trim down.

Upping the intensity of your workouts at the same time as reducing food intake, means the body does not have enough nutrients to repair both muscles and bones after exercise. Fred Hutchinson of the Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, says this is particularly relevant for women over the age of 50, as bone quality “naturally declines during menopause, increasing the likelihood of developing bone deficiencies like osteoporosis.”

The breakdown:


Menopause sparks a significant reduction of oestrogen in a woman’s body, which halts menstruation. Oestrogen also exists to protect bone strength, so after its levels have dropped, a woman’s bone density has normally depleted by up to 20%.


Exercise increases muscle strength, burns calories and most pertinently reduces bone fat. When the female body is low on oestrogen post-menopause, it makes bones weaker and more susceptible to exercise-induced damage. Osteoporosis and bone health should be explored when you start to feel overly exhausted or experience prolonged aching in your joints after exercise.


Dieting can have negative effects on osteoporosis and bone health

Dieting deprives the body of certain nutrients — something we are led to believe is a positive and effective way to minimise bone fat and increase slimness. By adding exercise into the mix, our emergency energy reserves deplete, leaving bone cells starving and unable to repair and re-build mass.

The important thing to remember about osteoporosis and bone health is that, though the condition may sometimes cause discomfort, it does not stop you from enjoying the lifestyle you always have done. With many things at this stage of life, it’s just about re-adapting to new things and making the best of life as we know it.

Discover exercise classes that are kind to your body and mind, here.

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