Bones support the body and allow us movement. Bones protect our brain and other organs. Bones store minerals such as calcium and phosphorous for strength; and then release those minerals as our body needs them for other uses.
There are many types of bone diseases, but the most common is osteoporosis. With osteoporosis, our bones become weak and break more easily.
On a daily basis, our body breaks down old bone and puts new bone in its place. As we get older, our bones break down more than they are replaced; therefore some bone loss is normal as we age, but we can take steps to slow this down.
As with most health issues, many things can increase your risk of osteoporosis – some within your control and some outside your control. Below are some risk factors you can control:
- Diet: Getting too little calcium and too little Vitamin D can increase your risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D helps your body use the calcium in your diet.
- Physical Activity: Bones become stronger and stay stronger with regular exercise.
- Body weight: Being too thin increases your risk of osteoporosis.
- Smoking: Smoking cigarettes prevents your body from using calcium in your body effectively. Also women who smoke go through menopause earlier than nonsmokers and early menopause increases your risk.
- Medicines: Some medicines can cause bone loss as one of their side effects.
Below are risk factors you cannot control:
- Age: Risk is higher as you age.
- Gender: Women have a higher chance of developing osteoporosis because our bones are smaller and our hormones changes after menopause.
- Ethnicity: Caucasian and Asian women are at higher risk.
- Family History: Having a close family member with osteoporosis may mean you are at a higher risk as well.
It is never too late to takes steps to improve your bone health. Begin by eating a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D and get plenty of exercise. The best exercise for bone health is weight-bearing exercise such as walking, lifting weights, climbing stairs, and dancing.
For more information regarding well-balanced diet and a good exercise program, contact Janet Hunt, an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and ACE Certified Health Coach.
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.
By: Janet Hunt