WORLD OSTEOPOROSIS DAY
SIMPLE STEPS TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR BONES

Did you know that 20th October is World Osteoporosis Day?

It’s a day to raise awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Osteoporosis, and here at Meadows Wellbeing we wanted to do our part.

So in this blog, we share a few simple tips you can follow to take care of your bones - at whatever age or stage of life.

First up, though, what is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition where your bones lose their strength, it tends to occur as we age due to changes in our hormones and biology. Women who have gone through menopause are at higher risk due to the reduction in oestrogen, but it’s a condition that can affect anyone. And although it does normally occur in older people, the truth is that it’s never too early or too late to take charge and take good care of your bones.

What can you do to reduce the risk of Osteoporosis?

There are some factors, such as genetics and biology that you cannot control. But there are plenty of proactive things you can do to care for your bones and reduce the risk of Osteoporosis. Below are just a few ideas;

EXERCISE:

Just like your muscles and organs, your bones will stay strong and healthy for longer if you use them, so exercise is your first line of defence against osteoporosis. The best exercises for your bones include weight bearing activities such as walking, dancing, star jumps, team sports, or skipping. But you also need to combine this with muscle building exercises like push ups, squats, or weight lifting. The good thing is you don’t need to become an Olympic weight lifter or the world’s fastest sprinter to take care of your bones, any activity is of benefit, even if it’s low intensity. Typically, it is advised to do at least 30 minutes three times a week for the best outcomes. However, it’s always wise to speak to a fitness professional if you need advice, as they can offer a tailored programme based on your needs and abilities.

NUTRITION:

In tandem with keeping active, it’s also important to fuel your body with the right stuff. Calcium is a well-known bone food, and can easily be ingested via cheese, milk, and other dairy sources. If you can’t consume calcium from dairy, you can also get a good intake from green leafy vegetables, almonds, sardines, dried fruit, pulses and tofu, so there really are options for any diet and taste preference. However, calcium alone isn’t the answer, you also need Vitamin D as this enables your body to absorb the calcium. You can up your Vitamin D levels through sunlight (being careful to avoid getting burned, of course) from foods such as eggs, fortified yoghurt, oily fish and lamb’s liver. Alternatively you can boost your Vitamin D levels by taking supplements. Again, if you have questions around what’s right for you, it’s best to speak to a specialist who can advise you based on your situation.

AVOID BONE DAMAGE:

Breaking a bone, even when young, can increase the risk of osteoporosis in later life as it reduces strength. While you can’t go back in time and undo a break, you can take action to reduce the chances of future damage. One of the best ways to do this is to improve your balance and coordination to help avoid slips, trips, and falls. Taking part in exercises like yoga, Pilates, and tai chi are all excellent ways to improve your overall strength, balance and coordination.

We hope the above has given you some ideas for ways to boost your bone health and help stave off osteoporosis. However, the ideas we’ve shared aren’t an exhaustive list and it’s important to factor in your personal circumstances, such as your overall health and family history. For more advice on Osteoporosis, including how to reduce the risk, and living with the condition visit the Royal Osteoporosis Society, and if you have questions or concerns about your bone health, always speak to your GP for advice in the first instance.

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