Oct 20, 2023

World Osteoporosis Day – Strong to the Bone

Today marks World Osteoporosis Day, 20th October, and is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about keeping our body strong and the importance of bone health.

Osteoporosis is described by the World Health Organisation as a condition where our bones become less dense and more delicate, increasing the chances of fractures. Did you know that about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men experience this? Fractures can sometimes impact our quality of life. But here’s the uplifting part: there are many proactive steps we can take to look after our bone health and avoid becoming part of this statistic.

Many people think of our skeleton just as something to hang our clothes on, but it’s so much more than that! Think of it as a lively, active part of us that not only helps us move but also supports our muscles, shields our organs, stores minerals, and even creates new blood cells. So, giving our bones some love and care can really make a difference to our overall health.

Throughout our lives, calcium is absorbed by the bones and then released into the blood stream, this balancing act being co-ordinated by oestrogen. As women reach the post-menopausal stage, there’s a dip in oestrogen which can make bones a bit less dense. With factors like family history and age, these things are typically out of our control, but there are several things within our control that we can do to keep our bones nice and strong for longer.

DIET

Foods rich in calcium positively affect bone mineral density. Dairy (preferably low fat) is the most obvious route to obtaining calcium, with around 80% of our needs being supplied in this way but almonds, sesame seeds and vegetables (particularly the leafy green variety) are also good sources.

VITAMIN D

This helps the body to absorb calcium so ideally go outside for 10 minutes 2-3 times per day between March and September plus consider supplements for the darker months.

ALCOHOL

Should be consumed in moderation as too much can effect the making of new bone by removing vital supplies of calcium.

SMOKING

When there’s more breakdown of oestrogen in our bloodstream, our bones absorb less calcium. So trying to minimise smoking habits can help keep your bones functioning at the maximum.

EXERCISE

Exercise has been shown to improve bone mineral density at any age, particularly strength training. Bones are amazing at adapting to stress when applied through safe exercise. Building strength through certain exercises can increase bone density, reducing your risk of osteoporosis as a result.

To help you on the journey to a stronger, healthier you, our wellness sessions include tailored strengthening classes like LIFT group class which safely introduces you to the basics of strength training and a bespoke STAY YOUNG personal training session is designed specifically around your experience, your needs and your goals. For details contact Heart + Soul Fitness on Ext. 318 or via fitness@ragdalehall.co.uk

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