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Topic: pilates for bone health?

Forum: Bone Health and Bone Loss —

Talk with others about bone density, osteopenia and osteoporosis, and ways to keep your bones strong

Posted on: Aug 11, 2012 11:00AM

peggy_j wrote:

Has anyone heard of (or tried) doing pilates to help our bones? Recently I saw that a class is being offered locally with this focus. When I googled "pilates bone health" I got 3.5 million hits, so apparently this isn't news to everyone, just me ;)  Any thoughts or comments?

Dx 2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 17, 2012 03:16PM LtotheK wrote:

Everyone seems to have different opinions on this stuff, but the studies I've read, which were confirmed by my endocrinologist, is that walking, swimming, biking, yoga, and pilates do not have much bone building effect.  It's the weight lifting, running, trampoline, and other exercises that "pound" the bones that have an effect.

I have also read that less than 4x a week weightlifting won't cut it.  I get in 3x a week.  There's a point at which I'm only able to do but so much!  I'm osteopenic (who isn't, seriously) and osteoporotic in the spine, though from further reading, that area can be misleading.

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Oct 16, 2012 07:27PM peggy_j wrote:

Somehow I missed this reply before. I know swimming isn't a bone-building exercise but I thought walking was--isn't it considered weight-bearing? Someone I know read that walking for 2 hours a week is a good target for bone health (since this is hearsay, I don't know the source).

can see why weight-lifting 4x a week would be better but isn't 3 good?

Dx 2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 28, 2013 03:10PM peggy_j wrote:

I know this is an old thread but...I was sorting through some old paperwork I have on osteoporosis and in a couple booklets they did recommend pilates. Of course, now I can't find the exact section in the booklet but I believe the logic is that if you have osteoporosis or are close to it, you want to make sure your spine is aligned. FYI in case this helps anyone. I'm going to sign up for the class.

Dx 2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 28, 2013 11:33PM coraleliz wrote:

I do Pilates once or twice a week. It challenges me. I'm not very limber,my balance isn't what it use to be(I'm only 54!Yell), the breathing helps me(I've found other uses for it) & it sure does work the coreSurprised. I like it better than Yoga. Good to know it may be helping my bonesSmile. I do the "pounding" stuff alsoLaughing.

Dx 2/28/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/15/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 28, 2013 11:37PM ruthbru wrote:

I love pilates. I don't know if it is good for bones, but it is certainly good for balance and building your core strength.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 29, 2013 05:51PM - edited Jun 29, 2013 06:25PM by ballet12

My sense of Pilates would be that it would be good once you have osteoporosis (but under careful guidance).  It is not the kind of exercise that actually prevents osteoporosis.  That would have to be weight bearing exercise.  Often they do "plank" during a Pilates class, and that is weight bearing, but most other parts of Pilates classes are not so.  I'll ask my dance teacher who actually trained with Joseph Pilates and teaches very strenuous Pilates classes.  She also has osteoporosis, but from extremely aggressive treatments for Inflammatory Breast Cancer (including bone marrow transplant--and lots of steroid-based meds).

Surgery 7/27/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 8/2012, DCIS, Right, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR- Surgery 10/5/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 10/26/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 1/11/2013
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Jun 29, 2013 10:06PM peggy_j wrote:

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I go to the gym and do other exercise but have never tried pilates in any form. Ruth, thanks for your comments. I was always a klutzy kid, so it wouldn't hurt to improve my sense of balance regardless. ballet12, if your dance teacher has an opinion, I'd love to hear it.

I found the course descriptions for "Pilates for Bone Building." For each course there's a one-paragraph description, but I'll summarize. In the "intro" class they focus on breathing, posture and proper alignment. (and "core control of the deep abdominal and trunk"). This is all in preparation for the next course. Then, once students graduate to the actual Pilates for Bone Building course, it also includes weight bearing exercise and fracture prevention (etc. I'm not doing this justice). These courses are taught through a physical therapy office and they can be taken by patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia.

I'm seeing my endocrinologist next week so if I have time, I'll ask his opinion. Seems like it wouldn't hurt and may actually help. If anyone has other opinions, I'd be curious to know what you think.

Dx 2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 30, 2013 07:05PM ruthbru wrote:

If anyone wants some fun exercise buddies, check out the 'Lets Post Our Daily Exercise' thread on the Fitness Forum.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2013 09:12AM Momine wrote:

LtotheK, you said "osteoporotic in the spine, though from further reading, that area can be misleading." Could you direct me to what you read, because I have severe osteopenia on the spine, but none in the hip.

As for pilates, yoga, walking etc., I was a tiny bit osteopenic in my hip 6 moths ago, but on my last scan I was slightly above normal. That is from 1 hour of walking a day and 3X30 minutes of weight work a week. I have now added some yoga to get at the spine better, hopefully, because there the problem is pronounced.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 1, 2013 06:11PM ruthbru wrote:

I'm thinking if you do pilates with toning bands, that might up the weight bearing quotient.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 11, 2013 06:59PM peggy_j wrote:

Just wanted to check in on the class I've taken, in case anyone is considering taking it themselves. I signed up for the course "Intro to Pilates for Bone Health" and have attended two class sessions. They are focusing on form as we try new exercises. In the regular (post-Intro) class, they'll add weights. Our class is small (four students; I'm in my late 40s, I think the others are in their 50s) and we're getting a lot personal attention from the instructor, which is great. (this seems like a great class to do with an instructor vs. a DVD; a couple times when I tried new exercises I felt strain in my lower back, so it helped to get hands-on feedback). One of my docs said she thought this type of exercise could definitely improve bone density. I know I'll be developing muscle and improving balance, so that's a plus too (even if the bone density part doesn't pan out). So from my perspective, it's been great. (and also is making more aware of my posture--a win there too)

Dx 2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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