Three Easy Tips to Improve your Bone Strength
Bone strength is important for everyone no matter what your age group. Children, Post-menopause and the elderly are all groups where bone health becomes increasingly important. Read on to learn some simple tips that might just save you from suffering poor bone health in the form of osteoporosis.
Why is Bone Strength so Important?
Bone strength is becoming more and more important as humans are living longer. It is estimated that over 200 million people worldwide suffer from osteoporosis. Due to the increased prevalence now at least 40% of these women and 15-30% of men will sustain one or more fractures in their remaining lifetime. Statistics show that approximately 20% of people who fracture their hips are dead within a year, and many of those who recover from hip fracture require additional assistance in daily living.
What exactly is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is defined as low bone mass, deterioration of bone tissue and disruption of bone architecture. This compromises bone strength and results in an increased risk of fractures. Although osteoporosis is thought primarily as a disease only for older individuals, what you do over your lifetime significantly contributes to your bone strength. Peak bone mass is acquired during late adolescence and early adulthood and sets the stage for vulnerability to fracture and other bone disorders later in life. During your 20s to 50s it is important to maintain and prevent bone loss prior to the rapid decreases that comes with aging.
Ok, So I am worried about my Bone health, What can I do?
Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists have an abundance of knowledge when it comes to building and maintaining bone strength. It is important that every person get treated as an individual with bone strength, as one size does not fit all and various contributing factors need to be considered.
Bone strength is often forgotten about and often ignored until it is too late and a fracture has occurred. At Out of the Box Physiotherapy we believe prevention is the best cure and this can start from any age. This may be increasing bone strength during adolescence, preventing bone loss or slowing bone loss and reducing risk of falling in the later stages of life.
Here are 3 simple tips that you can implement right now to start looking after your bones.
1. Calcium – This is something everyone knows but often lacks consistency through our daily lives. It is agreed that low calcium diet increases the risk of bone loss and fractures. For an adult, the Australian and New Zealand recommendation for calcium intake per day is 1000 mg. This would look like 200mL of light milk (250mg), 1 cup of yogurt (450mg) and 2 slices of cheddar cheese (2 x 150mg). If lactose intolerant there are a variety of ways to achieve the recommended intake.
2. Vitamin D – In Australia we are very privileged to have no shortage of Sun (primary source of Vit D). However, some people may still be under the recommend amounts especially in the winter months. Speak to you GP, dietitian or health professional for more advice on how much Vitamin D will be suitable to you. If you are worried about sun exposure then there are supplements that can be taken as well.
3. Exercise – Undertaking regular weight-bearing physical activity, muscle strengthening exercises and challenging balance. Seeking a qualified health professional for guidance for safe loading exercises is recommended. In individuals with increased risk factors for osteoporosis supervised exercise is recommended for safety and to provide the best possible results.
The benefits of an appropriate exercise program for bone health is known and backed by research. Our team are all experienced in exercise prescription and can help you to find your sweet spot in terms of exercise intensity and injury prevention. If you are concerned about your current bone health or exercise levels or both, then please reach out to us. We would love to help, this is what we do.