An estimated 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and another 34 million have low bone mass, (osteopenia). A disease without symptoms, osteoporosis affects about 20 percent of men and 80 % of women. Since bones gradually become weaker, they are more likely to break at a minor fall or, if left untreated, even from simple things like a sneeze. The most common fracture sites can be hip, wrist and spine, although any bone in the body could be affected.
A diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis might be scary, leading some to avoid exercise due to fear it’ll cause fractures. The reality is that those with low bone mass should make a point to exercise often. Being active has been shown to not just help prevent osteoporosis, but slow bone loss once it has already begun. Before beginning a fitness program, you have to talk to your doctor for guidelines, as degree of bone loss determines what type of workout is best. Physicians can assess bone mineral density and fracture risk by scanning the body using a special kind of X-ray machine.
Along with exercise, treatment may include dietary modifications and/or estrogen replacement therapy. The more you know in regards to this condition, the more you can do to help prevent its onset. To build strength and bone mass, both weight-bearing and strength training workouts are ideal. Weight-bearing work outs are the ones that require the bones to completely support your weight against gravity. Examples are walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing or using an elliptical exercise machine. Non-weight bearing exercises include biking, swimming, water aerobics and rowing. Weight-bearing activities which include walking less than 3 x per week can benefit the bones. Resistance training places mechanical force (stress) on the body, which increases bone mineral density. Start by lifting light weights, moving in a slow and controlled manner, increasing resistance when you become stronger.
It is strongly suggested that people with osteoporosis avoid the following forms of activity:
* Step aerobics and high-impact activities such as running, jumping, tennis.
* Activities that involve rounding, bending and twisting of the spine.
* Moving the legs sideways or across the body, especially when performed against resistance.
* Rowing machines, trampolines.
* Any movement that involves pulling on the head and neck.
* Even if you don’t have osteoporosis, you need to check with your health care provider prior to starting a training program.
* Be sure you warm-up before beginning and cool-down at the conclusion of each exercise session.
* For the best profit to your bone health, combine several different weight-bearing exercises.
* When you build strength, increase resistance, or weights, instead of repetitions.
* Make sure to drink plenty of water whenever exercising.
* Vary the types of exercise that you try every week.
* Combine weight bearing and resistance exercise with aerobic exercises to help you increase your general health.
* Bring your friend along to assist you keep going or better yet, bring your family and encourage them to be healthy.
* Add more work out in your day; take the stairs vs. the elevator, park further way, and walk to your co-worker’s office rather than emailing.
Put LIVE into action!
L – Load or weight-bearing exercises make a difference for your bones
I – Intensity builds stronger bones.
V – Vary the types of exercise as well as your routine to keep interested.
E – Enjoy your exercises. Make exercise fun so you will continue in to the future!
Certain factors increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis. While a few of these risk factors are controllable, others are not. Risk factors that could be controlled are: Sedentary lifestyle, excess intake of protein, sodium, caffeine and/or alcohol, smoking, calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies and taking certain medicines. Body size (small frame), gender, family history and ethnicity are risk factors that cannot be controlled. Women can lose about 20 percent of their bone mass in the five to seven years after menopause, which makes them more subject to osteoporosis. It is never too early to start considering bone mineral density. About 85-90 percent of adult bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and 20 in boys.
Nutrition and Exercise for Healthy Bones in childhood and Adolescence
Much of the reserve of healthy bone is built in youth and before age 30. Women could be more vunerable to an inadequate foundation process at this time than men. Sufficient calcium intake,a structured diet with lots of vegetables and fruit and load-bearing exercise are the tips for solid bone growth when you’re young. Then, with continued exercise into old age “- which benefits men too –‘ bone density decline can be kept to a minimum. Although women are the main focus of data about osteoporosis and low bone density (osteopenia),some men are also seriously afflicted by this condition.
Even if you do all the right things while maturing and into adulthood, your inherited characteristics “- your genes -” can present you with bones that are susceptible to osteoporosis. This is even greater reason to maximize your lifestyle to prevent poor bone health.
About the writer – Michelle Aultman writes for the elliptical machines blog, her personal hobby blog devoted to suggestions to prevent osteoporosis trough fitness at home.
Author’s note: The info provided on this post are designed to support, not change, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her medical doctor.
Michelle Aultman has no commercial intent and does not accept direct source of promotion coming from health or pharmaceutical companies, doctors or clinics and websites.
All content provided by her is based on her editorial opinion and it’s not driven by an advertising purpose.
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thanks for the reminder about weight training. So many of my friends are cardio fanatics, but never pick up a weight. It's great for your physique, as well as strong bones!
Is a great post, thanks for sharing!!!!
kudos!! Weight bearing is an incredible important aspect!!