Can preventing osteoporosis really be as simple as improving your nutrition – and committing to regular physical exercise?
Preventing osteoporosis really does come down to these two elements - diet and exercise. And that’s basically all there is to it.
Don’t let anyone tell you that osteoporosis is age-related or just bad-luck-genetics and heredity.
Some bone loss comes with aging, of course, as we are not rebuilding and replacing bone as well as we did at the age of thirty.
But there is no reason for anyone to develop the condition that results in fractures, such as hip, wrist, pelvic, and spinal compression fractures.
It is said that women over age 50 have four times the risk of developing osteoporosis compared to men.
This accounts for the fact that 80 percent of Americans with this condition are women.
But even this risk can be eliminated by changing your diet and exercise lifestyle.
It is also said that women are at an additional, higher risk for getting osteoporosis and broken bones, because they have thinner, lighter bones – and because they live longer than men. Say what?
If you maintain a lifestyle of truly healthy nutrition and regular physical activity you will protect your bones from becoming weak, brittle and porous. Period. No matter the gender.
If you have done throughout life what’s necessary to protect your bones, starting in childhood, congratulations are in order.
If not, it’s still not too late.
Start preventing osteoporosis now!
The habits you adopt from now on will affect your bone health for the rest of your senior life.
Eating meat of all kinds is contributing to osteoporosis. So don’t!
Sadly, the Standard American Diet (SAD) includes huge amounts of animal-derived products.
Adherence to the SAD diet has made America the sickest, most overweight or obese, overmedicated, malnourished, and out-of-shape country on earth.
Animal flesh, milk, and cheese are very high in protein.
The digestion of animal protein - flesh and dairy products - results in acids that must be neutralized by calcium – which your body extracts from your bones. This is also known as acid-induced bone dissolution.
This imbalance leads to hypercalciuria (loss of calcium through urine excretion), which leads to osteoporosis.
The dairy industry claims that “milk does a body good.” But they know better.
Since we’re on the subject of protein – Americans’ perceived need for lots and lots of protein is misguided.
I think this obsession is a result of the relentless and clever brainwashing by the meat and dairy industries.
Reducing your sodium (salt) and refined sugar intake to a minimum will help in preventing osteoporosis.
One unexpected side effect of this change is that you will rediscover how wonderful real whole food tastes. More on this in a minute...
Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake is a great means to keep your bones strong.
Not smoking will help prevent loss of bone mineral density.
Increase your fluid intake, especially water. Avoid sugary drinks (especially colas) and salty liquids.
Get enough vitamins D and K and calcium to prevent bone loss.
Increase dietary fiber intake. There is NO fiber in meats and cheeses.
Which brings me to the best way to prevent osteoporosis…
A truly healthy diet will do wonders toward preventing osteoporosis.
Plant-strong nutrition includes many calcium-rich foods such as
All these, and many others, are good for your bones.
I now invite you to take a moment to read the page on Plant-based Diet.
Then, come back for more preventive action...
Strength training and weight-bearing exercises help strengthen your bones.
I recommend you take at least 30 minutes a day, most days, to exercise. If you’re currently out of shape, slowly build up to this.
Strength training strengthens your bones through the pulling action of muscles on bones.
Simple daily activities like the following do count.
For more structured exercises
Positive side effects of this type of training are increased flexibility and improved balance, as they can help prevent falling.
It’s commonly known that hip fractures are among the most devastating outcomes of falls. Why devastating?
Because of the high risk of death! I’m not kidding.
As a consequence of such a fracture, older people usually have to be hospitalized.
Note: Hospitalization after a fall comes with its own set of risks. You can find more details on the page Balance Exercises.
There they often incur infections (like pneumonia or food poisoning), cardiovascular events, thromboembolism (blocking of a blood vessel), and other conditions. These complications can result in death.
Back to exercise...
Weight-bearing routines help build new bone mass through cell stimulation and the body’s forced resistance of gravity.
Weight exercises can be everyday activities such as climbing stairs and walking.
You could also
If you feel up to it – and are capable of it – do some aerobics. Water aerobics are a wonderful, and social, activity.
Higher impact exercises would be tremendous for those of you who are a bit fitter, such as tennis or jumping rope.
If you are fit, you already know what to do…
And if you’re not, please talk to your physician or physical therapist. This would be particularly advisable if you already have osteoporosis or related bone issues.
Preventing osteoporosis is a lifelong necessity. But, like I said earlier, it’s never too late for you – even as a senior – to do all you can to keep your whole body, including your bone structure, in the best shape and health possible.
So, get cracking… :)
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