When osteoporosis occurs, the bones become fragile and brittle causing fractures to occur easily. The most common fractures due to osteoporosis are the hip, spine and wrist fractures. Let’s learn how diet, exercise, vitamins and minerals can help protect us from osteoporosis.
Science has shown that 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily can help prevent osteoporosis and strengthen your bones. Additionally, strength training exercises seem to stimulate bone growth. They help to pull the muscles on the bone, resulting in increased bone strength. Finally, weight bearing exercises increase flexibility and balance, making falls less likely.
The following exercises will help improve bone strength, reduce the odds of a fall and stimulate bone growth.
- Aerobics help get the heart rate up, which pumps more oxygen into the body, thus increasing cellular activities.
- Yoga utilizes gentle stretches along with deep breathing exercises. These stretches increase balance, making a fall less likely.
- Climbing the stairs uses your body's own weight as resistance. This type of weight bearing exercise gives your entire body a good workout. Strengthening your muscles, helps protect against bone loss.
Your Diet and Osteoporosis
Your diet is important to your bone health. Eating a diet rich in bone building nutrients, including calcium is necessary for strong bones. You need to consume at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day to protect against osteoporosis. In addition to low-fat dairy products, which contain 200 milligrams of calcium per serving, you should eat dark, green leafy vegetables, calcium fortified cereals and fruit juices, soy products and canned sardines with bones.
In order to help bone formation, you must consume the following essential vitamins and minerals. If you do not get the recommended daily allowance of these nutrients, you may wish to supplement your diet with a vitamin and mineral supplement.
Vitamin D is needed by the body to absorb Calcium. When you are vitamin D deficient, you are unable to absorb the calcium your bones need. Most individuals get the proper amount of vitamins D from the sun. During the winter months, many do not receive enough vitamin D. Because of the diminished sunlight during the winter months, the elderly are more likely to suffer from fractures.
Calcium is one of the main building blocks for bones. When you do not receive enough calcium in your diet, bones begin to deteriorate. Consuming enough calcium through your diet is essential to maintaining bone mass.
Once calcium is consumed, vitamin D along with other nutrients helps the body absorb calcium. The blood then transports any excess calcium not needed for other body processes to the bones. When calcium is added to the bone, the bone is strengthened. If you do not have enough calcium in your blood stream for other body functions, calcium is removed from the bones. Therefore, it is essential for you to consume calcium in your diet.
Osteoporosis happens when the body cannot create bone fast enough to replace old bone. Although osteoporosis can affect both men and women, Caucasian and women of Asian descent are more prone to develop osteoporosis. Additionally, women past menopause have a greater chance of developing osteoporosis as well