What is Osteoporosis?
First, do not worry, it is simply a common problem mainly caused by aging. Osteoporosis is characterized by the bones becoming abnormally thin, weakened, and easily broken. Older people, especially post menopausal women, are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis due to changes in hormones. It is important to note that although men are less at risk, the recommendations that will be proposed are also strongly recommended to men.
Should I be worried about osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis in itself is not a problem; however, should someone have an accident; for example, falling or knocking you knee against the wall, osteoporosis will increase the odds of you breaking a bone and all the other complications that come with it. It would be a shame for your next visit with your kind and friendly doctor to be about your broken bone and not about you acing your usual health check-up.
So how do you prevent osteoporosis and its associated fractures?
Diet, Diet, Diet. One of the most important factors for a healthy life, and a great tool to fight osteoporosis.
- Calcium intake is important and can be found naturally in food items such as milk and dairy products, nuts, as well as green vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. Supplements are not necessary with a good diet.
- Vitamin D uptake is also extremely important. It greatly helps your body with the absorption of calcium, which in turn strengthen the bones. Without Vitamin D, the calcium in the diet may go to waste. The recommendation is mainly to take supplement. If prescribed by you doctor it is covered by your health insurance. These supplements can sometimes be prescribed as one pill weekly.
- Alcohol consumption (more that 2 drinks per day) can increase your risk of osteoporosis and fracture.
Decreases the risk of fracture by:
- Increasing bone mass and helping maintaining bone density
- Strengthening muscles, improving balance; therefore decreasing your risk of falls
The recommendation is to exercise at least 30 minutes three times per week
Smoking cigarettes increases the speed at which bone is loss; therefore, it is strongly recommended to avoid or quit smoking, not only for osteoporosis but for MANY other reasons.
4. Avoiding falls
One can be very strategic by not putting themselves at risk of falling. To do so, simply look at your usual environment for things that could make you fall. Also avoiding walking in unfamiliar areas and areas not well lit is not recommended.
What can we do for you?
The STIVE program is mainly here to provide resources for you to stay healthy and active by exercising, which not coincidentally, is a great way to prevent osteoporosis and fractures. You can look forward to the resources we will be posting on our website which will help with osteoporosis.
Looking forward to seeing you all move in the name of health. Cheers!