Bones are similar to a porous framework which is filled with minerals that make it hard and strong. With age, there is gradual degradation and the mineralized portion is lost, thereby leading to thinning of the bone. The word osteoporosisliterally translates to porous bones, which is due to the gradual demineralisation. In addition to the natural ageing process, there are other diseases that can accelerate the demineralization process.
Women are more prone to demineralisation, and after the age of 40, they should take extra precaution to slow down the onset of the condition. The following are some ways to improve bone health and halt osteoporosis in the long run-
Diet: Ensure that your diet has sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium. Though calcium is the essential mineral for bone formation, vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium, and therefore both these elements play a vital role in maintaining the quality of the bones in our body. Most people require about 1,000 mg of calcium and about 500 units of vitamin D for optimal bone health. This requirement goes up slightly in postmenopausal women.
Sun Exposure: In most people, exposure to the sun allows the body to make vitamin D, but careful sun protection prevents this from happening. Also, with age, the body’s ability to form intrinsic vitamin D also declines. The body, therefore, relies on supplements. Most dairy products are good sources of calcium. In addition, spinach, salmon, turnips, and broccoli are some calcium-rich foods. Supplements of calcium carbonate or calcium citrate can be taken if your diet is lacking in calcium. Vitamin D also should be included in the supplementation. The treatment for osteoporosis is incomplete without these two supplements.
Exercise With Weights: The constructive tension that exercise puts on the body helps in bone building, whatever the age may be, which prevents the onset of osteoporosis. Any exercise which improves muscle mass strengthens the bones, and puts stress on the bones is advisable. Since the fractured area due to osteoporosis mainly includes the spine, lower back exercises, yoga, tai chi, and abdominal exercises all work wonders. Pick any of these and do them for 30 minutes three times a week.
Quit Smoking: Continuing to smoke while taking osteoporosis medications is completely useless. Nicotine negates all the effects which defeat the purpose of taking the medication and is as good as taking no medication at all. So if you want the bone thinning to stop, stop smoking.
Alcohol Consumption: While a drink or two per week is permissible, more than this can harm the bones significantly.
Constant Health Watch: Talk to a doctor about how other routine medications (if any) can affect your bone health. Also, identify how frequently you should check your bone mineral density and stick to the schedule.
Bone health and osteoporosis can be managed with some conscious efforts.
Staying healthy involves a wholesome state of being where the mind and body are in perfect sync. A less than properly functioning body can leave you in a state of potential depression after a certain point of time, while a depressive mind can leave you feeling less than stellar where you end up imagining and experiencing pain. The health of your bones and joints is one such area that requires even more care as you start growing older. Wear and tear is just one of the reasons for degeneration while fractures and injuries can lead to a sudden halt of normal functioning of the bones and joints too.
So how can you ensure bone and joint health in the long run? Follow our tips!
Take care of your bones and joints the right way today, for a healthier tomorrow.
Did you know that in addition to your diet, exercise is one of the best ways to make sure that you never lie on a hospital bed with a surgeon treating you for a bone disorder? Medical expertise has constantly pointed out to the fact that regular exercise makes your bones less likely to suffer from wear and tear during old age.
As you exercise, your muscles become stronger, your bone density increases and your balance improves. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to follow certain precautions before you exercise to avoid certain injuries.
Before starting any exercise program, make sure that you prepare your body for exercise. A brief warm up helps you to get your muscles ready for exercise. It also makes sure that your chances of injury are drastically reduced.
Here are some tips to keep your bones healthy:
Weight lifting: Weight lifting is a type of exercise that, if done correctly, will be extremely beneficial for your bones. You can opt for simple bodyweight exercises such as pushups and squats, which build muscle as well as strength. Avoid using very heavy weights as it causes back-related problems such as slipped disk.
Yoga: Yoga is another method of exercise which is very beneficial for bones and joints. The premise of yoga is static strength building wherein you hold a pose or an exercise for a certain period of time; this helps in strengthening your muscles. Along with your muscles, your bones also become stronger as you get fitter. Yoga is repetitive stress which is good for flexibility and hence keeps your joints supple and muscles in good shape. There are certain asanas which are weight bearing and anti-gravity postures can strengthen your bones.
Swimming: Swimming again is a good aerobic exercise and is good for back and over all fitness but doesn't strengthen bone per se. It is a way to keep you healthy. Swimming is a cardiovascular exercise, which is also known for its calorie burning capabilities. It is also very effective is incinerating fat and keeping your skeletal system healthy. Whereas walking and jogging and running certainly build your bones as they are weight bearing exercises.
Pilates: Pilates is a new form of exercise that has been gaining a lot of steam lately. It does not require much equipment, as you can get started with just a mat. It is very effective in working your spine and the hips, thus keeping your lower back strong. A weak lower back increases the chances of bone disorders drastically.