By Elmar Krämer

Fit even in old age: To prevent osteoporosis, sports scientists recommend exercising three times a week for 45 minutes. (imago / Panthermedia / studiostoks)

Those who keep moving and building their muscles remain mobile and independent – if things go well, even a lifetime. Athletes also strengthen their bones and protect themselves against osteoporosis. It’s never too late to enter.

“Usually bones are formed until the age of 30 and from then on they slowly break down.” This is completely normal, says Karl-Dieter Heller, chief medical officer of the orthopedic clinic at Duchess Elisabeth Hospital in Brunswick. “But when hormonal factors, such as postmenopausal delay or the like, are added, the bones break down faster.”

However, if you take care of yourself and stay still, you will make osteoporosis faster. Because sensors in the body also measure the load on the bones. Stronger muscles, tendons and ligaments mean more stress or positive strain on the bones, which gives the signal to build bone mass. A lack of exercise, on the other hand, accelerates the breakdown.

Rebuild skeletal muscles

“Use it or lose it,” say sports scientists like Ingo Froböse of the German Sports University in Cologne: “Bone growth is very much related to muscle work, physical work and physical stimuli. , we can also say here: muscle work gets stronger. “

Orthopedic surgeon Karl-Dieter Heller adds: “Through sports activity, bones are rebuilt, just as skeletal muscles are rebuilt. This is why sport has a high priority.

In the Berlin Sports Fitness Park, the main objective is to maintain health and mobility and to stabilize muscles and bones. Volkmar Feldt’s training groups include people aged 60 to over 80 with osteoporosis, heart problems or simply the desire to stay in shape.

Well-dosed strength training

Motivating people to exercise is a passion and a mission for sports scientist and trainer Feldt. He also trains with many people with osteoporosis. He knows the worries and fears at first, but also the mental and physical benefits of well-dosed strength training: “If you have osteoporosis, strength training is the method of choice, but it should not be overused. .

Squats without or even with weights – this can also be water bottles, for example raising the arms to the side or above the head, exercises for the abdominal and back muscles, but everything is well measured and adapted to your own body. That is what matters.

Three times 45 minutes a week

Exercising with other affected people can eliminate fears. The social component also contributes to motivation. However, once a week is not enough, as Karl-Dieter Heller explains: “You have to do intense sport all your life. We know that three 45 minutes a week has a clearly positive effect on the musculoskeletal system.

Because muscles can be trained at any age. Their benefit against osteoporosis is undisputed. Froböse says: “The most important guarantee of running away from the nursing home is to train the muscles, because they keep them independent and mobile.

Harry Linienbach, 87, sets a good example. He is one of the participants in Sports Health Park: “I have been here for about 38 years, here we play sports together. It’s part of my life, I would miss it.”