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Start Now to Prevent Osteoporosis Later

March 14, 2013 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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osteoporosis, physical activity, improve your health

Today’s blog focus is on osteoporosis and why it’s so important to engage in activity that improves the health of your musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones, & joints).

Did you know that the costs associated with osteoporosis in British Columbia are estimated to be $322 million annually.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis Canada definition: “Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture (broken bones), particularly of the hip, spine, wrist and shoulder. Osteoporosis is often known as “the silent thief” because bone loss occurs without symptoms.”

When many people think of osteoporosis, postmenopausal women are generally the first to come to mind as they tend to have the highest rates. However, osteoporosis is an “equal opportunity bone basher” as it affects both men and women! Click here for an interesting read highlighting a man’s experience with osteoporosis.

It‘s important to note that developing good bone health is a lifelong endeavor and we’re never too young to start reducing our risk for osteoporosis because it can strike at any age.

Given it’s reputation as “the silent thief” it’s essential that we take action each day to improve our bone health. Here are a few tips to increase your bone density:

  • Take part in weight bearing exercise that stimulates the muscles, fosters bone growth, and improves balance as well as posture.
  • Examples of weight bearing exercise include but are not limited to: walking, step aerobics, dancing, Nordic Pole walking, resistance training, or jogging.
  • Fun Fact: Postmenopausal woman who walked for one hour 4x/week were able to significantly reduce their risk for a bone fracture by 40% (Dr. Mike Evans)
  • For more info or guidance contact the Physical Activity Line to speak with a qualified exercise professional.

Nutrition is essential and you need to ensure you’re receiving adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D.

  • For more info contact Dietitian Services at Healthlink BC by dialing 811.

FYI: Osteoporosis Canada is hosting a great fundraising initiative in our region and it’s called Walk This Way! It promotes Nordic Pole walking as a weight bearing activity to help improve bone health and includes pole walking clinics in the Lower Mainland and Victoria to help people prepare for a two, five, or 10 km pole walking event in Whistler BC.

Do you or a family member have osteoporosis? We encourage you to share your wisdom below to help inspire our community members to improve their bone health.

Keep Positive, Keep Smiling, & Keep MOVING!


References & Resources:
Osteoporosis Canada: What Kind of Exercise Should I Do?

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