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how to fight osteoporosisIf you’ve been diagnosed with either osteoporosis or osteopenia, there is something you can do about it.

As we get older, losing muscle mass and bone density is part of the natural aging process. Unfortunately, this decline can lead to unexpected falls and fractures created by an unstable musculoskeletal system along with increasing joint pain and stiffness as well declining physical mobility. And the more sedentary we get, the worse it gets!

Peak bone mass is highest in our youth and begins to decline as early as our 30’s. Osteoporosis is a silent disease that can creep up on us year after year until one day, after our first DEXA scan, we hear those words… “You have Osteoporosis!”

It is serious, but it’s not a death sentence. Be proactive and work with your doctor to come up with a plan to stop the process or even improve your bone health.

How To Fight Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

There are medications to treat osteoporosis and osteopenia, but as with many prescription drugs, there can be side effects. If you have serious bone loss you may not have a choice. Make an informed decision with your doctor.

Just as important is to GET MOVING! Proper exercise and nutrition can help maintain and even improve your musculoskeletal system.

Just as the old saying goes, “if you don’t use it you’ll lose it.” Your bones change constantly depending on the force they must endure. Stress and the pull of gravity on the bones from physical activity stimulates osteoblasts, which make the bones stronger. EXERCISE can increase bone mass at all ages!

Exercises To Fight Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

Try these recommendations to fight osteoporosis and osteopenia with exercise.

Weight training to fight osteoporosisWeight bearing aerobic activities such as brisk walking, dancing, swimming, biking or a good aerobics class. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes three to five times a week.

Resistance training with handheld weights, elastic bands, water bottles or another tool of your choice. Do a minimum of ten reps of the major muscle groups two to three times a week, being sure to leave a day of rest in between for muscle recovery. Try this: 15 Minute Arm Toning Workout With Light Weights

Core/stabilization activities and balance practice activities like standing on one foot or walking heel to toe two to three times a week to stimulate the balance reflexes. Try this: 10 Minute Core Workout

Flexibility training to lengthen and strengthen the muscles. During this process the muscles pull on the bones, making the bones in turn resist and strengthen. Tai chi, yoga, ballet stretches and therapeutic stretches are all good examples of types of practices that can help build bone density. Recommendations are three to five times a week. Try this: Morning Stretch Routine

You can find many other ideas for exercises in my free fitness library

Fighting Osteoporosis and Osteopenia With Nutrition

In addition, NUTRITION  plays a huge part in maintaining bone health. It your body is not getting the proper minerals from your diet, it will borrow them from your bones reducing their mass and strength.

Talk with your physician about the recommended amounts you should be getting for the following minerals:

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Protein
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus

The ideal way to get these nutritional powerhouses would be from food sources, but once again as we age, the body may not process them as effectively and supplementation may be a good option. Again, talk to your doctor to decide what is right for you.

Make bone health a priority so you aren’t confronted with a fractured wrist, hip or vertebrae which are the most common sites of injury due to osteoporosis. We want to continue to move freely to enjoy our lives so remember to visit our free fitness library and choose to be BE STRONG!

Here’s to feeling good!