Do You Have Strong Bones?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes bone degeneration.  People over the age of 50 are at a higher risk to get it, but, the good news is, you can do some things to keep your bones strong.

Here are some things you can do to help slow the onset of Osteoporosis:

  • Eat a balanced diet with foods from all four main food groups
  • Increase your Vitamin D intake, either by taking a vitamin supplement or eating more foods that are rich in Vitamin D such as fish
  • Increase your Calcium intake, either by taking a vitamin supplement or by ingesting more foods that are rich in calcium such as milk, cheese, or calcium-enriched orange juice
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to 2 or less drinks per day
  • If you smoke, you should consider quitting
  • Perform an aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes each day including exercises that require you to carry your weight such as hiking, brisk walking, attend an aerobic exercise class.  Also include exercises that require you to do movements that are not in your normal routine such as agility training or dancing
  • Perform resistance training exercises at least 3 times per week  If you need some ideas on types of resistance exercises, see a fitness professional (we have some fantastic fitness professionals at the YWCA)
  • Perform exercises that require you to use your balance such as back extensions and core strengthening exercises

So, how much calcium and Vitamin D should you be getting each day?  Osteoporosis Canada has the following list for you to review:

  • If you are between the ages of 19-50, you should be getting 1000mg of Calcium and 400-1000IU of Vitamin D
  • If you are 50+, you should be getting 1200mg of Calcium and 800-2000IU of Vitamin D

Sometimes, doing the above tips isn’t enough.  Some people may also need to take prescription medications.

Talk to your doctor about your bone health and find out what steps you can take to help prevent Osteoporosis from taking hold of you.

If you want more information, check out the Osteoporosis Canada website at http://www.osteoporosis.ca.

Posted by Jen, Group Fitness/Zumba Instructor

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