Osteoporosis: Bone Health Heads-Up

Osteoporosis is a common condition as you age. If you find, as you are getting older, that your ability to bounce back from injuries and broken bones is deteriorating, there is hope! Increase your bone health and maintain strong bones with our recommendations below.

What is osteoporosis:

In a nut shell, this is when your inner bone cells break down and slow the replenishing process, sometimes even stopping completely. This causes our bones to become fragile, resulting in the risk breakages and fractures increasing and a full recovery may not be possible. Having a low bone density is known as ‘Osteoporosis’.

There are a range of factors that can increase your risk of this condition, but rest assured there are also actions you can take to arm yourself against it.

People who have a family history of osteoporosis have a greater chance of developing it later in life. Other factors such as; smoking and poor diet/exercise regimes are also important to note.

200 million women are said to be affected worldwide with “Worldwide, 1 in 3 women over age 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will 1 in 5 men aged over 50”. International Osteoporosis Foundation. Women are most at risk as they get older, due to a decrease in oestrogen levels throughout menopause. Oestrogen acts as a bone protector and as levels decrease, so does the strength of the bones.

Things you can do for you!

  • Stop smoking or cut back
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Eat a healthy diet full of nutrient dense food
  • Exercise regularly and up your weight bearing exercises. Try to include stretch bands, weights and weight machines (pin or plate loaded is fine) into your workouts in order to strengthen your bones.

Greens for bones:

Broccoli is high in calcium. Add it into your stir fry, roast it up or freeze and add as a base to smoothies or soups for the extra nutritional benefits. One cup of broccoli not only is packed with vitamins and minerals, but also contains around 180mg of calcium that the body can easily absorb. To compare, 1 cup of cows milk has around 300mg. Add some extra broccoli in your diet for a decent calcium boost without the dairy.

Osteoporosis is not something you can recover from, but you can prevent it from getting progressively worse by making the small changes suggested above. If you already have the condition, be sure to consult a medical professional before making any exercise changes to ensure the exercises are suitable for your body.