Osteoporosis: The Facts
Osteoporosis means “porous bones” and it is a condition where the skeleton becomes very fragile and bones can break easily. Simple things may cause a bone to break, such as stepping off a curb, sneezing, being hugged or even bending down to pick something up. Bone breakages are mainly in the hips, spine and wrist.
The leading causes of osteoporosis:
- Heavy use of alcohol
- Steroid usage
- Hypogonadism (in males)
- Genetics/family history
- Lack of weight-bearing exercises
- Inadequate calcium intake throughout life
A lifelong habit of weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or biking, will help build and maintain strong bones. The greatest benefit of physical fitness as you grow older is that it can reduce the risk of fracture, because it gives you better balance, muscle strength, and agility, making falls less likely.
The flexing of bones during exercise is thought to prompt the body to distribute more calcium to the bones. It’s always recommended to ask your physician before starting a new exercise program, especially if you already have osteoporosis or other health problems.
Osteoporosis is a problem that can affect anyone in their later years, so it’s important to keep your bones strong and long lasting.