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Nutrition and Exercise for Bone Health

May is National Osteoporosis Month raising awareness about bone health! Read on to learn more about building strong bones.

Bone building begins in childhood and peaks in early adulthood. A lack of bone mass can result in osteoporosis and is typically associated with older generations. It is important to promote bone health at all ages.

What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is characterised by a decrease in bone mass density which can lead to an increased risk of fracture. Worldwide, 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will 1 in 5 men aged over 50.

Symptoms

  • Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra.
  • Loss of height over time
  • A stooped posture
  • A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected

What Are The Risk Factors?

The older you get the greater the risk! Smoking, sedentary lifestyle, low calcium intake, excessive alcohol consumption and thyroid problems can also increase the risk.

Foods To Fight Osteoporosis!

Broccoli Fights OsteoporosisCalcium from diary products and Vitamin D are needed for healthy bones. Vitamin D is needed in order for us to absorb the calcium efficiently.

The best source of Vitamin D? SUNLIGHT! You make the most vitamin D in the summer time under your skin when sunlight hits your skin in the middle of the day. Oily fish, egg yolks and fortified cereals are also high in vitamin D. Also dark leafed vegetables mainly broccoli, kale and spinach.

Calcium rich foods are diary products such as low fat milk and cottage cheese.

Essential fatty acids also increase calcium absorption from the gut. Good sources are fish, walnuts and flax seeds.

Exercise For Bone Health

Weightbearing and muscle strengthening exercises are the best for building and maintaining bone density.

High-impact weight-bearing exercises help build bones and keep them strong. If you have broken a bone due to osteoporosis or are at risk of breaking a bone, you may need to avoid high-impact exercises. These include dancing, hiking, tennis, stair climbing etc. Low impact can also help and is a safe alternative including low impact aerobics and outdoor walking.

Strengthening exercises include weightlifting, thera band exercises and .functional movements utilisng your own body weight such as squats.

Want to get tested to see if you have osteoporosis? Book in for an ultrasound bone density test at our Bournemouth or Fordingbridge Clinic today.

Sources
National Osteoporosis Foundation

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