7 Ways To Prevent Osteoporosis As We Age

2012-08-04 | |
Last updated: 2012-08-04

How Can People Reduce The Risks Of Developing Osteoporosis?

The good news is that medical research has identified 7 ways in which individuals can lower their risk of developing Osteoporosis.

1) Exercising To Lower Osteoporosis Risk

One of the simplest and most obvious ways to reduce the risks for Osteoporosis is to exercise regularly. Osteoporosis commonly accelerates after a women has reached menopause, but 2010 research from the Medical College of Georgia found that post menopausal women who exercised for just 3 hours per week were able to retain a greater bone density as they aged. Having a greater bone density reduces the risk for developing Osteoporosis.

Related research from Glasgow Caledonian University found more specifically that some types of exercise can help defer the development of brittle bones. Their study found that among women already diagnosed with Osteoporosis, weight training was able to reduce the chances of breaking a bone by more than 40%. Given this significant reduction in risk, weight training is an important means for women to protect their quality of life in later years.

Exercise and load bearing exercise is also important much earlier in our lives as well. Research from the University of Gothenburg reported this year that young men in their 20’s who were involved in load bearing exercises were able to increase their bone density. In particular, they increased the density of the hips, spine and leg bones, all of which are at risk of fracture when Osteoporosis develops. In contrast, those who were sedentary in their 20’s actually lost bone density. Clearly, activity at a young age offers some protection for our later years.

2) Protecting Against Osteoporosis By Losing Weight

Closely related to exercise and also related to Osteoporosis risk is our level of body fat. Research from Harvard University in 2010 found that higher levels of belly fat were associated with lower bone density. Among obese, postmenopausal women, the researchers found that the levels of fat in the bone marrow were higher and that the amount of bone material was reduced. The researchers also noted that overall fat had no effect on bone density and that only the fat around the belly was related to Osteoporosis risk.

Needless to say, this is yet more evidence of the dangers of obesity.

3) Minimizing Osteoporosis Risk By Not Smoking

One last lifestyle related-risk to mention here is the relationship between smoking and Osteoporosis. While smoking is usually associated with cancer risk and breathing disorders, it is also a cause of Osteoporosis. Research from the late 1990’s found that those who smoke had a bone density that was on average 10% lower than those who do not smoke. This 10% loss is equivalent to the normal loss that occurs over 5 to 10 years in those who do not smoke. Thus, smoking has the effect of causing premature aging of the bones.

Stopping smoking can reverse this bone loss, but only over a number of years.

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Category: Disease Information, Disease Prevention, General Health, Health Risks

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