Osteoporosis – if you are a woman over 30, you have probably heard this word….maybe wondered what it is and how you can take steps to prevent it.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to gradually thin and weaken, which leaves them susceptible to fractures. Osteoporosis literally means, “porous bones.” While both men and women can suffer from osteoporosis, it is much more prevalent in women. Most women’s bones tend to be lighter and less dense and paired with hormonal changes that come with aging, the loss of bone mass is accelerated.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
While the exact cause of osteoporosis is unknown, it is known that bone loss – where bone breakdown goes faster than bone buildup – usually begins in the mid 30’s. Essentially, bones begin to lose calcium at a faster rate than they can replace it causing the bones to thin.
What Can You Do to Combat Osteoporosis?.
- Eat your Veggies (and Other Calcium Rich Food) – Leafy green vegetables are packed with Calcium and Vitamin K which are shown to increase bone density. Other Calcium rich foods include milk, yogurt, almonds, cheese, fish and broccoli.
- Soak Up the Sun – In addition to Calcium, Vitamin D is equally important as it aids in your body’s ability to absorb Calcium and put it in the bones. Combining Vitamin D with Calcium intake is necessary to prevent your bones from becoming weak. Of course, there are seasons where it is difficult to get outside and get your daily sunshine quota. Therefore it is a good idea to use Vitamin D supplements to ensure you are getting an adequate amount.
- Get Moving – Weight bearing exercise will not only help you build muscle and lose weight – it will also help you keep your bones strong. Weight bearing exercise forces your body to resist gravity and stimulate cells in the body that make new bones. In addition to activities like walking and jogging, it is important to use weights to strengthen your body from top to bottom. Strength training causes the muscle to pull on the bone and increases bone strength. And the added bonus – exercise improves your balance, coordination and stability which can all work to prevent falls and fractures.
What are you waiting for? Age doesn’t matter – whether you are 20 or 60, you can take steps to prevent osteoporosis and start strengthening your bones. So, eat your veggies, soak up the sun and most importantly, exercise. In fact, why not sign up for a class designed with you and your health in mind:
Register now for ‘Weights 4 Women’: A class designed by women, for women. This class will focus on strengthening the body through weight bearing movements and special attention will be given to proper form and technique. This class is open to all levels of fitness.