Were a nation of fragile bones. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), osteoporosis which is defined as reduced bone strength or weakening of the bones predisposing to an increased risk of fracture -- is a huge public health threat for nearly 44 million Americans. Fifty five percent of folks over fifty years old have this condition. Thats startling. But consider these even more dramatic numbers: In the United States, 10 million people are living with osteoporosis and nearly 34 million more have low bone mass, a risk for osteoporosis development.
When it comes to bone loss the condition is unavoidable. Around the age of thirty five, everyone begins to lose some bone density. It happens to everyone. Without proper nutrition, increased activity level and other preventive measures, bone loss can lead to osteoporosis. This disease can affect our ability to do simple daily activities and some people dont realize they have the condition until they actually break a bone.
What can you do to prevent further bone loss (perhaps even reverse the condition) even if you are a senior?
Try these tips recommended by :
1. Begin with a Bone Measuring Density (BMD) test. This test is recommended by the NOF for healthy women 65 and older, men age 70 and older, and for younger women and men at increased risk. Speak with your doctor about your risk factors for developing osteoporosis.
2. Get enough calcium and vitamin D. There is a controversy going on right now about whether supplements should be taken and what the best daily levels of calcium and vitamin should be. Everyone agrees calcium-rich foods like low or non-fat dairy, kale, broccoli and oranges should be included daily in your diet. 3. Get moving. You dont need to join an expensive gym. Regular walking is one of the best exercises for osteoporosis. To begin, find a flat surface like a shopping mall and increase your laps as you gain strength. When you get stronger, choose to walk up stairs rather than take the escalator or elevator.Weight-bearing exercises are also a great way to stimulate your bones, especially the hips and spine, and help you build stronger bones. But be cautious: Weight-bearing exercises that involve high impact can be hard on joints or weak bones. You can use light weights at home. Or consider taking yoga for seniors which involves weight-bearing exercises using your own weight. But before you begin any exercise program, consult your physician. 4. Make healthy lifestyle choices. Dont smoke or drink too much alcohol. Both these unhealthy activities steal our bones of their calcium and mineral content, making them weak and fragile.
5. Be cautious. If your bones are already weakened or youve had a diagnosis of osteoporosis, you are at a greater risk for broken bones. Make it a point to avoid lifting or pushing heavy objects, walking on uneven surfaces, and bending at the waist to retrieve things from the ground. 6. Talk to Your Doctor. These tips are helpful, but be sure to consult with your physician who may have other suggestions for your condition.Robin Westen is ThirdAges medical reporter. Check for her daily updates. Her most recent book is Relationship Repair (Sterling)See what others have to say about this story or leave a comment of your own.