Are your bones healthy?

Isis Town and Country - - Life - Leanne Shorter Health and fit­ness

EV­ERY five min­utes, some­one in Aus­tralia is ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal with an os­teo­porotic frac­ture.

Two-thirds of women and one-third of men older than 60 will suf­fer from an os­teo­porotic frac­ture – and that num­ber is set to in­crease.

So how can you help avoid suf­fer­ing one of th­ese frac­tures and re­duce the risk of get­ting os­teo­poro­sis?

Most peo­ple know reg­u­lar ex­er­cise helps with weight loss and weight main­te­nance and helps keep us fit and healthy.

Ex­er­cise is also es­sen­tial for the health of our bones.

Reg­u­lar weight-bear­ing ex­er­cise helps build bone mass in young peo­ple and helps main­tain this strength through their adult years.

If you’re not “young” any­more then the good news is it is never too late to start ex­er­cis­ing.

Just like mus­cles, bones will de­te­ri­o­rate if they are not used reg­u­larly.

The best types of ex­er­cise for your bones are weight-bear­ing ex­er­cises that are mod­er­ate to high im­pact, and weight train­ing.

Some ac­tiv­i­ties you could do in­clude: strength train­ing or re­sis­tance train­ing, aer­o­bics, danc­ing, jog­ging, ten­nis and brisk walk­ing.

Sim­ply stomp­ing your feet can help im­prove bone strength.

Try do­ing that ev­ery day for a cou­ple of min­utes.

Re­sis­tance train­ing isn’t only lifting heavy weights.

Heavy weight train­ing is dis­cour­aged for those with os­teo­poro­sis be­cause lifting heavy weights in­cor­rectly can crush the ver­te­brae.

That is one form of weight-bear­ing ex­er­cise, but you can also do re­sis­tance train­ing us­ing your body weight – like squats and push ups.

Us­ing re­sis­tance bands will give you the same ben­e­fits of us­ing heavy weights but will be gen­tle on your joints and there is no risk of drop­ping heavy dumb­bells on your toes.

If you haven’t ex­er­cised for some time or have any on­go­ing health prob­lems, then you should con­sult your doc­tor be­fore be­gin­ning any new ac­tiv­ity.

An ex­er­cise pro­gram that in­cludes ac­tiv­i­ties that help im­prove pos­ture and bal­ance will help pre­vent falls and re­duce the chance of an el­derly per­son suf­fer­ing bone frac­tures.

As well as ex­er­cise, you will need to main­tain a healthy, bal­anced diet.

This in­cludes mak­ing sure your in­take of cal­cium and vi­ta­min D is suf­fi­cient, as both are re­quired for build­ing and main­tain­ing bone mass.

Smoking and ex­ces­sive al­co­hol in­take can con­trib­ute to bone loss.

Leanne Shorter is a regis­tered fit­ness trainer with Fit­ness Aus­tralia.

You can con­tact her through her web­site at www.re­sis­tit­bands.com.

PHOTO: IN­GRAM PUB­LISH­ING

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