With the baby boomer generation now between the ages of 49 and 67 years old, the number of people with osteoporosis who will suffer fractures will rise significantly. Follow these 3 steps to prevent osteoporosis naturally for yourself or your loved ones.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones supporting and protecting our body lose density, become brittle and are likely to break from a fall, stepping off a curb or by sneezing forcefully. Fractures related to osteoporosis lead to disability, chronic pain and an increased risk of death
Osteoporosis currently affects 10 million people in the United States and by 2020 it is estimated that half of all Americans over 50 years old will have this disease. This epidemic on the horizon can be prevented with 3 steps.
3 Steps to Prevent Osteoporosis Naturally
1. Get Enough Vitamin D and Calcium
Calcium is essential for the hardness and strength of bone, while Vitamin D allows our body to absorb calcium from the foods that we eat. According to the National Institutes of Health, healthy adults should consume 600 I.U. of Vitamin D and 1000-1200 mg of Calcium per day.
So how can you do that? Just eat more of the foods that are high in Vitamin D like swordfish, salmon, tuna, and milk, or those high in Calcium like yogurt, orange juice, soy beans and almonds.
2. Do Weight Bearing Exercises
Weight bearing exercise causes your bones to adapt to the impact of your body weight and the pull of muscle by building more cells and thus becoming more dense. Performing weight bearing exercise will slow down the process of bone thinning that naturally occurs with age.
To get these benefits, do exercises such as walking, jogging, running, weight training, dancing or tennis.
3. Get Some Sunlight!
The third and final step in preventing osteoporosis naturally is to get some sunshine! Our skin creates Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight through a series of reactions. Exactly how much time is needed from sun exposure has been debated because of the obvious concerns with UV radiation from the sun as a cause of skin cancer.
One study stated 3-15 minutes of sunlight is good for those with light skin, and up to 15-30 minutes of sun exposure is good for those with darker skin outdoors.
For the sun exposure to work, 40% of the skin should be exposed, so grab your shorts and t-shirt and get some of those golden rays.
Osteoporosis is a serious health concern that is likely to affect someone you know and perhaps yourself as you approach your golden years. Utilizing an appropriate dietary intake of Vitamin D and Calcium, performing weight bearing exercises and getting exposure to limited amounts of sunlight will strengthen your bones and maximize your efforts to prevent osteoporosis naturally while improving your quality of life.
- Osteoporosis Facts: MedicineNet.com
- Johnell O., Kanis J. Epidemiology of osteoporosis fractures. Osteoporosis International. Vol. 16, Issue 2, Supplement, pp S3-S7. March 2005.
- Office of Dietary Supplements. ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
- Office of Diatary Supplements. ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/
- American Academy of Osteopaedic Surgeons. orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00263
- Mead MN. Benefits of sunlight: a bright spot for human health. Environmental Health Perspectives. 116 (4): A160-7. April 2008.
- Osteoporosis Foundation Facts
M.A. Caromano, M.S., PA-C works currently as a physician assistant practicing internal medicine in Brigantine, NJ. He is also employed as adjunct professor teaching anatomy and physiology at a community college in Atlantic County, NJ. His background also includes bachelor degrees in Exercise Science and Health Sciences.
Photo by greg westfall