What a big word that is, and it is not a very nice one… but, what is it for real, and how can we work against it?
First of all, it’s NOT a normal part of aging! Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the bones get weaker over time as the person with it loses bone mineral density and bone mass, which can cause the bones to become fragile. The person may not notice it because you can’t really feel your bones getting weaker, and you may not know you have the disease until you break a bone or two… A bone density test shows how strong your bones are.
There is not cure for osteoporosis, but there is much you can do to maintain healthy bones.
If you exercised regularly as a child and young adult, you probably helped maximize your bone production which is just about done by the time you hit 35. If you continue to exercise into middle age and beyond, you are probably helping to reduce your risk of developing this ugly bone-thinning disease.
Bone-healthy exercise programs must include: (1) weight-bearing exercise, which means you are working against gravity while staying upright. Walking is a great example of weight-bearing exercise, so are jogging, kickboxing, soccer, dancing etc… (2) Muscle-strengthening exercise, which makes you work against gravity in a standing, sitting, or prone position. Weight lifting is a great example of this. (3) non-impact activities such as balance, functional, posture exercises and stretching also benefit people with osteoporosis because these exercises will help decrease the risk of falls and fractures.
There you have it!