Osteoporosis that means “porous bones”, is a medical condition in which the bones turn fragile and brittle. It typically occurs in women as a result of hormonal changes or deficiency of Vitamin D or calcium. It generally affects women beyond menopause. This condition is responsible for about 1.2 million fractures each year.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Lack of calcium in diet is one of the main causes of Osteoporosis. An average diet consists of only 750mg of calcium whereas minimum daily requirement is of 1200 to 1500 mg.
Women are more prone to develop Osteoporosis as compared to men due to the following reasons:
- Weaker bones
- Low energy levels( due to eating disorders)
- Missed periods (Amenorrhea)
It is essential to build good one density during early years of life to keep Osteoporosis at bay during old age. A combination of exercise and nutrients is necessary to maintain bone health. Weight bearing exercises and adequate calcium in diet are main ways to prevent this disease.
Exercise and Osteoporosis
Load-bearing exercises or weight bearing exercises are a great way to strengthen the bones. These exercises allow the tendons and muscles to pull on the bones, stimulating the bone cells and strengthening the bones. It has been proven through studies that exercises help in building and maintaining bone density at any age. Lifting of weights two or three times a week goes a long way in retention of calcium in the bones that are engaged in exercises. Exercises also enhance bone formation through cell stimulation. Not only this, exercises also help in enhancing muscle strength, balance and coordination thus decreasing likelihood of falls during the old age.
Water exercises, weight machines, free weights, resistance bands help in strengthening of the upper body and also gradually slow down the process of loss of minerals from the bones.