Your bones like some foods more than others. If you avoid the bad stuff and eat the good stuff (and of course stay active) you have a much better chance of maintaining a strong bone system over your lifetime.
Although osteoporosis is commonly viewed as a woman’s disease, men get it too. About 2 million men in America already have it and an additional 12 million men have osteopenia and are at risk for developing osteoporosis. This is 4 times lower than the rate of women with the disease, but is still a significant health threat.
So, why do men get osteoporosis less often than women? There are several factors involved here. Men produce a more even level of hormones over their lifetimes than women do. Men tend to me more physically active than women, and, on average, women live longer than men. All of these factors add up to a protective effect for men.
The most important time in your life to build up bone mass is between 14 and 30. Unfortunately, most people who smoke start in their teenage years. This can cause them to not develop as much bone mass as they should.
Primal Kaur, MD, an osteoporosis specialist, says that “If an adolescent is smoking, they will not develop maximum bone mass. They will end up with a smaller skeleton and less bone mass, compared to a nonsmoker.” This is just one more reason to encourage your children or grandchildren not to smoke.
We used to think that just our muscles needed exercise, but it turns out we were wrong. Exercise is just as important for the strength of our bones. By making gentle weight bearing exercise a habit and avoid a sedentary lifestyle, we can protect our bones throughout our lifetime. Here are 8 fun ways to get some weight bearing activities into your lifestyle.
Bones are considered a connective tissue and are composed mostly of a specialized form of calcium phosphate. They are rigid, but have some slight elasticity due to also being partially composed of collagen. Some of their main functions within our bodies are to protect our organs, support our muscles, allow movement and to store minerals. What we don’t often think about, and one of their most important functions, is that red and white blood cells are also both produced within our bones. Without healthy bones, there can be any number of health problems.
The word osteoporosis means “porous bone.” If you look under the microscope at a bone it looks similar to a web with several interconnected fibers going in different directions. An osteoporotic bone has very few of leaves fibers, which leaves the bone susceptible to fracture. In very serious cases a simple sneeze can cause a bone fracture.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that 10 million people already suffer from the disease and nearly 35 million are at risk. Approximately half the women over 50, and 25% of men over 50, have osteoporosis.