What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition in which our bones lose density and become fragile. It can be prevented through exercise and regular physical activity. Exercise is vital at any age for healthy bones, and it is especially important to exercise as we age in order to maintain bone density.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 10 million adults in the U.S. have osteoporosis. In females, the incidence of osteoporosis is greater than heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined. The incidence of osteoporosis in males is greater than that of prostate cancer.
Why is Exercise Important for Bone Health?
Most of us are familiar with the benefits of exercising to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is also important to be aware of the benefits of physical activity to maintain healthy bones. Weak bones break easily, and as we age, the risks of fractures increase. One strategy to counteract this tendency is to eat a healthy diet that includes calcium and vitamin D.
Ideally, to prevent osteoporosis, we build bone density relatively early in life — developing peak bone mass between ages 25-30. After age 30, we break bone down at a faster rate than we build it. However, it is still vitally important to do the strength-training and weight-bearing exercises described below after age 30, to build peak bone mass and maintain bone strength throughout our lifetimes.
Recommended Exercises for Optimal Bone Health
The best exercises to build and maintain bone density are “weight-bearing” and “strength-training.”
Weight-bearing exercises include activities where you are on your feet resisting gravity with your entire body, such as:
- Walking briskly
- Running or jogging
- Climbing stairs
Strength-training involves movement resistance, forcing your body to work harder, such as:
- Using weight machines
The Preventive Benefits of Good Bone Health
Our bones provide support and balance for our bodies. They are the framework for our muscles and form a protective barrier for our internal organs. Healthy bones allow us to have an active lifestyle, making us feel strong and vigorous.
M.D. Express Urgent Care Centers are committed to promoting a lifetime of good health. Keeping your body’s framework healthy and strong will allow you to pursue an active lifestyle for years to come. However, we know accidents can happen at any time. If you need care outside of your doctor’s regularly scheduled business hours, we are here for you! Walk-in 7 days a week to receive outstanding care at any of our 6 convenient locations with no appointment necessary!