Nutrition and Exercise for Osteoporosis
For increased bone health and strength throughout life, it is important to get proper nutrition and engage in regular exercise to prevent weakening of the bones or bone disease. Eating a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of developing certain bone diseases, such as osteoporosis and may even be able to help alleviate the condition once it has begun.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that results in brittle or weak bones. Bone tissue is constantly regenerating itself. Over time, whether due to health problems, inadequate diet, inactivity, or as a natural part of aging, bone growth cannot keep up with bone loss. This results in bones that are thinner and more easily broken. Those who do not get enough nutrition or who lead an inactive lifestyle are more prone to developing this disease as well as have an increased risk of fractures from the disease. However, getting the right nutrients as well as adding certain exercises to your routine can help prevent osteoarthritis as well as reverse the condition in those who have developed it.
Nutrition for Osteoporosis
It is important to eat a healthy and balanced diet with a variety of whole foods for healthy bones. Most importantly, it is important to eat foods that contain calcium and Vitamin D. Calcium is important for strong bones and new bone growth but the body needs adequate amounts of Vitamin D for calcium to work effectively. It is preferable to get necessary calcium and Vitamin D from the diet but for those who cannot, dietary supplements may be recommended. Speak with a physician to determine the amounts of these nutrients that are best for your individual needs.
Exercises for Osteoporosis
Not only is a healthy diet important for preventing osteoporosis or reducing its effect, getting enough of the right kind of exercise is important as well. For those who do not have the disease, high impact aerobics are a good way to increase bone mass and bone strength. For those who already have osteoarthritis, have broken a bone, or who are unable to engage in extreme exercise, there are lower impact versions that can be of benefit for stronger bones. Lower impact, weight bearing exercises may include:
- Climbing stairs
- Weight lifting
- Using resistance bands
- Exercises using body weight
Other exercises that are important for bone health include stretching and flexibility exercise that help increase range of motion and provide stability and balance. It is important to see a physician before beginning a new exercise program, especially for those who have health problems.