November is Osteoporosis Month!

(written by Carah, YWCA Hamilton Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer)

November is Osteoporosis Month in Canada.

This month we are shining the spotlight on this crippling disease. One in three women in Canada will suffer a bone fracture from osteoporosis in their life time as opposed to one in five men. Why are women more susceptible? In general, women have smaller bones than men to begin with, therefore when bone loss occurs we have less to lose before osteoporosis sets in. In addition, declining estrogen levels during menopause can cause bone loss at an alarming rate. (Estrogen helps bones absorb calcium) If a woman has not built a healthy bone mass throughout her life (healthy and active lifestyle) this rapid loss can lead to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a largely preventable condition. Here are a few strategies you can utilize to help combat and prevent osteoporosis.

Nutrition: When we think strong bones we think calcium, however calcium does not work alone to do it’s job, it has a team of nutrients that help it do its job (building strong bones) most effectively. The following nutrients are critical in the fight against osteoporosis and can be found in certain foods:

BORON: dried fruit, nuts, avocados

MAGNESIUM: pumpkin and sesame seeds, soybeans

SILICON: whole grains, dried fruits, seafood

VITAMIN D: fatty, fortified milk and milk alternatives

VITAMIN K: (K1) kale, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, brussel sprouts, (K2) eggs, cheese, and certain fermented foods

CALCIUM: dairy, sesame seeds, almonds, leafy greens, canned fish, tofu

(Alive: Canada’s Natural Health & Wellness Magazine, Nov.2012)

Exercise: When muscles contract creating a pull on bones, this triggers the bone building cells to start working. Regular weight bearing aerobic activities like walking, hiking, step/aerobic classes or strength training exercises are most effective for building bone density.

Here at the YWCA Hamilton we have some great fitness programs to help prevent osteoporosis from occurring later in life, don’t wait get active!

 We also have a great program called Bones Plus at our Ottawa street location which is targeted toward improving bone density for individuals who already have osteoporosis or osteopenia. For more information about this great program call 905-522-9922 press 8 and ask for Debbie Hannah.

In addition, the Osteoporosis Canada Hamilton/Burlington Chapter is located here at 75 MacNab Street South, Hamilton. This group offers a variety of different speakers and workshops regarding osteoporosis. Upcoming sessions include “Traditional Chinese Medicine and Your Bone Health” on November 21st, 2012 from 7-8:30pm at YWCA Active Living Centre (75 MacNab St. S)

For more information or to register please call 905.525.5398

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