Is Osteoporosis Inevitable?

By Joseph Hock, Purdue University

Exercise is not everyone’s most enjoyable pastime. But for people with osteoporosis, there are many benefits, and it doesn’t require lifting heavy weights or running long distances. These activities could actually be detrimental to the human body, and you should always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

Osteoporosis, often called a “silent disease,” is a slow and painful disorder that threatens the lifestyle for many of its victims. Osteoporosis deteriorates the supporting bones in the human body, so the best way to counteract this is by strengthening those bones. Low-impact aerobic exercises are the most effective way to strengthen bones and joints to mitigate mineral loss.

Many people enjoy dancing, gardening, hiking, or even yoga. All these activities will reinforce bones in the legs, hips, and spine which creates a defense system against osteoporosis. Enjoying any of these activities for 30 minutes daily may immensely reduce pain and may even slow or stop osteoporosis from forming.

“With a healthy lifestyle such as weight-bearing exercise and proper nutrition along with appropriate medicines, many people can avoid or reduce the complications of osteoporosis,” said Clinical Educator Nora Saul, MS, RD, LDN, CDCES.

Over half of all United States citizens older than 50 suffer from the early stages of this disease. Clinical Educator Anna Bessonova, RDN, CDN, CDCES, INHC, said, “I encourage people with osteoporosis to stay informed about the latest treatments and learn about fall prevention from reputable sources such as the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation. Timely doctor visits are also very important in order to monitor the therapy as needed.”

For people with osteoporosis, adding low-impact activities that are enjoyable to them may help them greet each day with increased flexibility, improved strength, steady balance, and even the opportunity to live pain-free for years to come.

 

Sources:

Wright, Nicole C, et al. “The Recent Prevalence of Osteoporosis and Low Bone Mass in the United States Based on Bone Mineral Density at the Femoral Neck or Lumbar Spine.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine.

“Exercising with Osteoporosis: Stay Active the Safe Way.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

“Exercise for Your Bone Health.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services