Lifestyle choices that assist in bone management

To avoid osteoporosis as you age, it is important that you look for ways to reduce bone excretion. Here’s a look at ways to modify your lifestyle choices to assist in bone management.

About 90% of the entire bone mass is amassed by the age of 18 in case of girls, and by the age of 20for boys. This means that the entire bone mass is accomplished during puberty itself. It is essential to find new ways to reduce bone excretion during growth which may help to diminish the risk of osteoporosis in later life.

Diet Nutrition and Bone Health

Our Western Diet’s food components and nutrients can either have positive or negative consequences on bone health. They may affect bones by:

  • The paracrine and endocrine system
  • Adjustment of bone structure
  • Bone metabolism rate
  • Homeostasis of calcium and possibly of other bone-active mineral elements

Dietary influences range from vitamins (vitamin A D E K C) and some B vitamins, inorganic minerals e.g. calcium and magnesium and macronutrients (fatty acids and protein).

The relative proportions of these dietary factors resulting from different diets may also have an influence on bone health. In recent years, various bioactive food constituents have been suggested as being favourable for healthy bones.

Effects of Calcium on Bone Health

Over the past decade, persuasive evidence has surfaced regarding the effects of dietary calcium on bone health for all ages.  Calcium is needed for the development and normal growth of the skeleton.

If a person’s diet does not include enough calcium to substitute Calcium used by the body, it will remove some from the bones. This will result in weakening and increase the risk of fracture. It has been estimated that only 32% of adults in the US receive enough calcium from their diet.

Exercise –  An Essential Component of Healthy Bones

Weight Bearing Exercise is done while you are on your feet.  You support your skeleton and sustain your weight. It stimulates the bone tissue aiding the cells to decompose and regenerate in the same way that muscles are fortified.15 minutes of weight-bearing exercise 4 times a week will help to keep your bones healthy.

Examples of weight-bearing exercises:

  • Resistance training in the gym (arranged by a trained instructor)
  • Fast-paced walking
  • Medium Impact Aerobics
  • Dancing
  • Skipping

Strength training is done with weights (machines, dumbbells, ankle or wrist weights). You should do this training on a regular basis 2-3 times a week. It is most helpful when a small number of repetitions (8-12) is used, and the weight is gradually increased. As strength improves, it is beneficial to increase the weight rather than the repetitions.

Smoking and Alcohol Consumption – Impacts Bone Health

Smoking and alcohol consumption are two lifestyle dynamics that contribute to skeletal health. Adverse effects of smoking on the skeleton have been documented for several decades. The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Women and Smoking concluded that smoking increases hip fracture risk and negatively affects bone density in postmenopausal women. Emerging evidence suggests that men may also be adversely affected, but the evidence is inconclusive.

Osteoporosis –  Low Bone Health

Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease distinguished by micro architectural deterioration and low bone health. There is a subsequent increase in bone fragility and vulnerability to fracture.

The incidence of hip and vertebral fractures increases with advancing age. Hip fracture patients have a general mortality of 15 – 30%, most of the deaths happening within the first six months after the fracture.

Osteoporotic fractures are a major public health problem. In the US alone 10 million people have osteoporosis, and 34million have low bone mass. This puts them at increased risk of developing this disorder.

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