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How to Prevent Osteoporosis83 Views
Understanding Osteoporosis will start in
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects millions of people in the US. Learn more about osteoporosis by watching this video.
Description: Osteoporosis is common as you get older, but it's preventable. Learn how to prevent osteoporosis now, to save your bones later.
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conditions, bone health, joint health
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With 34 million Americans at high risk for osteoporosis—a number that is growing—it’s important to be aware of things you can do to prevent this disease. Holding on to bone strength is key to preventing osteoporosis, and you probably won’t be surprised that the best way to do this is by increasing your consumption of calcium, a vital nutrient that isn’t made in the human body. So why is calcium so important? When there isn’t enough of it in the blood, scavenger cells tunnel into bones and regurgitate calcium into the bloodstream for use by the body. This results in bone loss. Calcium provides the foundation of strong bones, but less than 50 percent of us get the recommended daily dosage of 1,000 milligrams, a requirement that increases as we age. People over 51 need about 1,200 milligrams daily. Another great way to fight osteoporosis is by getting more Vitamin D, which allows your body to absorb calcium. To understand how, picture a locked door that separates the intestines and the blood stream. Vitamin D is a key that opens the door, allowing more calcium to enter the bloodstream. Without enough Vitamin D, calcium cannot enter the blood and perform normal bodily functions. Vitamin D is made in the body following exposure to sunlight. Ultimately, however, you may not be able to the get the Vitamin D you need from the sun, and since foods containing the vitamin are few and far between, a daily multi-vitamin can help. A less touted superhero in the world of bone health is Vitamin K, which helps produce osteocalcin, a protein instrumental in bone formation. Vitamin K also blocks osteoclasts and helps to regulate calcium excretion via the urine. Leafy greens, brussels sprouts, broccoli and other dark vegetables are all good sources of Vitamin K. Everyone knows that exercise is healthy, but did you know that it’s essential to strong bones, too? Any exercise that involves working against gravity is known as “weight-bearing exercise” and is vital to bone mass. That’s because sports like tennis, volleyball and running all put stress on bones, in turn causing them to strengthen. Strength training, which involves an opposing force that muscles must strain against, like free weights and resistance bands, is also vital to bone strength. An optimal work-out routine for osteoporosis prevention includes thirty minutes of weight bearing exercise three days a week, and thirty minutes of strength training three days a week. It’s also important to limit caffeine and alcohol and cut out smoking—all three can lead to increased loss of bone mass. Preventing osteoporosis is entirely possible with a few lifestyle tweaks. But please remember to see your doctor before starting any supplement, dietary or exercise program.