Healthy Living

The Secret to Staying Active As You Age? Healthy Bones!

Approximately one in two women and one in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. Osteoporosis is one of the main causes of hip, spine, and wrist fractures in both men and women, as they share similar lifestyles that contribute to the deterioration of bone strength including poor diet choices over a lifetime, smoking, drinking too much, and lack of weight-bearing exercise. However, the rate of fractures is two or three times higher in women than men.  A woman’s risk of hip fracture is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer, but public awareness about issues related to poor bone health is underrepresented.

Being proactive about reducing the effects of osteoporosis is good advice no matter your age. In my new book Beat Osteoporosis with Exercise (Ulysses Press, 2016), you’ll learn how strength training exercises are the key to better bone density. With my low-impact programs, middle-aged people can learn how to preserve bone density, and an older adult should do everything possible not to break bones.

According to estimated figures, osteoporosis was responsible for more than two million fractures, and the parts of the body most commonly fractured are the vertebra, hips, wrists, and pelvis. If a person can prevent a fall, it will save them a great deal of money and suffering. Women in their early 50s tend to trip over simple things that causes them to lose their balance and break a wrist, collar bone, or, in a worst-case situation, a hip. They never guessed that they had developed osteoporosis; they thought they were still young and solid. The unfortunate thing about osteoporosis is what we don’t know can truly hurt us.

Women are not alone in developing osteoporosis and osteopenia (the beginning stages of osteoporosis). Recent studies have shown that, for both males and females, significant benefits can be derived by engaging in a resistance exercise-training program for the improvement of bone mineral density (BMD) compared to no exercise. One study found that one year of a moderate exercise program completed by women with low BMD prevented a decline in hip BMD when compared to sedentary control subjects. A group of men, average age 45, who lifted weights or performed a jump rope protocol improved bone mineral density at the hip joint. A four-year study among osteopenic women found that those who exercised were able to maintain hip and spine BMD, while those not exercising lost significant density in those areas. A study among women 75 years of age and older found that, after a 25-week period, those who performed strength training showed a significant increase in cortical bone density compared to women who only did stretching; the stretching participants showed a decrease in bone density. A study of elderly women with low BMD who performed a systematic exercise program for 30 weeks showed a prevention of density loss at the hip and resulted in significantly fewer falls.

Based on this review, it can be concluded that exercise programs that incorporate weight-bearing or load-stressing activities can improve bone quality outcomes for women with So, no matter your age or gender, the procedures for maintaining bone strength and density are about the same. The only difference is the intensity of strength training.

Here are five steps to better bone health:

1. Get daily recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D.

2. Engage in regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise.

3. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

4. Speak to your healthcare provider about bone health and any side effects of

5. Have a bone density test and take medication when appropriate.

Complete with more than 100 exercises and 300 step-by-step photos, Beat Osteoporosis with Exercise offers multiple low-impact programs that are completely customizable for all fitness levels. Try the Fast and Furious Total-Body Workout for a complete, well-rounded routine. The Better Balance Program will improve hand-eye coordination and strengthen your core, which can help prevent falls. And for the days when you’re feeling fatigued or stressed, try the relaxing Stretching and Flexibility Program. As these exercises become a regular habit, you’ll notice a more sustainable quality of life while engaging in your favorite physical activities, such as golf, hiking, fishing, tennis or even salsa dancing.

Remember, the bones you build today will support you tomorrow.


Read more Bone Loss – Stop It Before It Stops You 

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    Inspiring! Hoping to avoid taking meds for bone loss as there are suppose to be bad side effects. Also wondering how much diet helps.

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    This is good news! Definitely inspiring. I have wondered about the medications recommended for older women and hear about bad side effects and don’t like the idea of taking them. Am hoping with strength training we can do as much or enough to arrest osteoporosis if we already have it. Also, am wondering more about how much diet helps.

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