The word osteoporosis means “porous bone” and it refers to a condition that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone or both. If you have osteoporosis, your bones have lost density or mass and would look like a honeycomb under a microscope. When bones become less dense, they weaken and are more likely to break from a fall or in serious cases, just from sneezing or a minor bump.
About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and it leads to two million broken bones each year. Experts estimate that by year 2025, osteoporosis related fractures will cost $25.3 billion annually. So, what can you do to protect your bones?
- Eat a balanced diet, rich in calcium and vitamin D. Here’s a simple chart to help you get the right amounts.
- Engage in regular exercise
According to Mary M. Wahbah MD, internist at PIH Health’s Whittwood medical office building, “Weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises are two types of exercises that are important for building and maintaining bone density. Be sure to speak with your doctor before starting any new exercises.”
- Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day
Jumping Jack Challenge
It's a great time to start doing light exercises that promote healthy bones. Jumping jacks are great for building bone strength and density when you’re younger and to maintain bone strength as you age. Take the Jumping Jack Challenge (check with your doctor first if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis) by doing 10 jumping jacks in less than 10 seconds. Other exercises that can strengthen your bones are: jumping rope, dancing, walking, yoga and Pilates.