Do you know how to help prevent osteoporosis? Its a lifelong process that you can start today.
Did you know that World Osteoporosis Day is October 20? That’s why October is a perfect time to raise awareness of this crippling disease. And if you think osteoporosis only concerns women or seniors, you may want to think again: the lifestyle habits that we all implement today are key to preventing osteoporosis tomorrow.
What is osteoporosis?
Briefly, the disease osteoporosis is classified by low bone mass and weakening of bone tissue. That’s why those with osteoporosis are much more likely to fracture or break bones when they fall. Osteoporosis can therefore lead to loss of independence and mobility, as well as low self esteem and disfigurement. However, this disease typically presents no symptoms until a fall or fracture occurs, so many sufferers have no idea they have it until it’s too late—thus osteoporosis is dubbed “the silent thief.”
How can we prevent it?
Although it is more common in women and seniors, young people and men can also suffer from osteoporosis—and everyone can make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent osteoporosis every day:
- Exercise. Weight-bearing exercise (such as running) is better that low-impact exercise (such as swimming or cycling), because it makes bones work harder at becoming strong. Strength training is also very important because it builds muscle.
- Eat well. It’s important to eat a balanced diet with plenty of calcium (found in dairy, leafy greens, and nuts) and vitamin D (found in fortified products and fatty fish) to build bones.
- Ask your health care practitioner about supplements. It may be difficult to consume all of the necessary vitamins and minerals in one’s diet, so this is where supplements can come in handy. Check with your health care practitioner to see which are right for you.
- Avoid smoking and limit alcohol. Both cigarette smoking and drinking heavily can lead to bone loss.
For more information, check out these alive articles about osteoporosis:
- Support Your Foundation
- Osteoporosis and Men
- Beautiful Bones
- 8 Myths of Aging