Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Know The Facts!

May was Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention month.  This is something I am truly passionate about as it affects multiple people in my family! Osteoporosis is something that people don't seem to focus on or pay attention to until it's to late.
What is osteoporosis? 
Osteoporosis is a loss of bone density that results in weaker bones that are more likely to break or fracture at even mild trauma.  Aging, diet, heredity and lifestyle are all factors in osteoporosis.  Medications and medical conditions can also play a role.
  • One out of every two women & one in four men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. The most serious osteoporotic fractures are hip fractures.
  • The majority of those who experience hip fractures will require assistance in their day-to-day lives. Twenty percent of seniors who suffer a hip fracture die within a year.
  • Due to an aging population and a lack of focus on bone health in the past, the number of hip fractures in the United States could double or triple by the year 2020.
  • Nearly 75% of all hip fractures occur in women.
  • Osteoporosis accounts for more time spent in the hospital than diseases like diabetes, heart attack and breast cancer among women over 45.
  • Hip fractures cost more than $11 billion each year (approximately $37,000 per patient).
How can I prevent Osteoporosis? 
Exercise: It's recommended that adults get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises force your body to resist gravity and stimulate cells in the body that make new bone.
Strength training causes the muscles to pull on the bone. This results in increased bone strength. Strength training also increases flexibility and reduces the likelihood of falling -- the number-one risk factor for hip fractures! 
Here are some examples of weight-bearing & strengthening exercises that can help keep your bones strong:
  • Aerobics
  • Climbing stairs
  • Dancing
  • Jogging
  • Racquet sports
  • Running
  • Tai chi
  • Walking
  • Water aerobics
  • Yoga
So maybe you aren't big on any of those ideas.  You want something quick and easy...I mean you are busy right?  Here are some exercises that will not only help you improve your muscle strength, they will also help strengthen your bones, some are easy enough to add into your everyday life {some you're probably already doing!}:
  • Lifting canned goods or bags of groceries
  • Lifting free weights
  • Lifting young children
  • Using ankle and wrist weights
  • Using elastic resistance band
  • Using weight machines
  • Using your own weight as resistance
  • Working out with barbells
Calcium plays a huge role.  If you don't get enough calcium every day through your diet your body will be deficient of it. Your body will then break down the bones to replenish what it is lacking and bone loss will increase.

Great sources of calcium are:
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy products
  • Calcium fortified juices and food
  • Sardines with bones
  • Certain vegetables
  • Soy products
  • Calcium supplements
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium into the bloodstream. When your body is depleted of vitamin D or has an insufficient supply, the blood levels of calcium plummet. Vitamin D can be obtained through minimal sun exposure (10 minutes a day) and from your diet.
Lifestyle {aka Bone Robbers}: You need to beware of the "bone robbers". Bone robbers are lifestyle habits or situations that may increase the risk of osteoporosis and/or falls. If you have weak bones from osteoporosis, a fall may result in a bone fracture.
Did you know that at least 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls?
Activities like dancing and tai chi -- as well as strengthening exercises -- can help you stay flexible and avoid falling.
Here are more bone robbers that you can protect yourself against:
  • Excess alcohol consumption. Drinking more than two drinks daily is linked to an increased risk of bone loss.
  • Cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking doubles the chance of bone loss and fractures by reducing the effectiveness of the body's estrogen.
  • The female athlete triad. This affects active women who exercise at high levels. The female athlete triad -- thin bones, lack of menstrual cycle, and eating disorders -- increases the risk of early bone loss. Athletes with menstrual disorders have lower estrogen levels. This often leads to lower bone mass.
  • Cola drinks. Some findings show that colas, but not other carbonated soft drinks, contribute to bone loss. It may be that the extra phosphorus in cola drinks binds with calcium and prevents it from being absorbed in the body. Or it may just be that women are replacing calcium-rich drinks, such as milk, with cola. Getting plenty of calcium every day through diet or supplements is vital to keeping your bones strong.

About the Author

Hi there! My name is Nichole!

I have a passion for fitness and helping others!

My family IS my life. I know how hard it can be trying to juggle it all. My goal is to live a long, healthy life to see my children grow up, so our fitness and health is very important to me!

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