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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Osteoporosis - Keeping Your Bones Healthy

As time passes by the renewal of bone structure slows down and lose their density and become more brittle. A condition such as this is called Osteoporosis, a condition that affects millions of Americans across the country. Although the prospect of bones weakening with age is frightening, it is preventable, and for those already afflicted, it is comforting to know that almost everyone with Osteoporosis can be treated successfully. With Osteoporosis, bones that have become fragile over time can crack and break, even without previous symptoms. Minor accidents can lead to serious fractures, critical injuries and chronic suffering. Watching what you eat, being aware of your environment and keeping in shape are the best things you can do to manage Osteoporosis and prevent further bone damage. The more calcium you have the stronger your bones will be. Milk really does a body good as does yogurt, cheese and other calcium fortified foods. Another good source is green leafy vegetables, especially parsley, kale, watercress, Chinese cabbage and broccoli. There are things to avoid as well, too much caffeine, too much protein or fat, alcohol and smoking all reduce the amount of calcium available to the body. Regular physical activity is one of the best ways to help strengthen bones and muscles to keep your bone density high. Two types of exercises that you want to do is weight-bearing and resistance exercises. Weight-bearing exercises are those in which your bones and muscles work against gravity. This is any exercise in which your feet and legs are bearing your weight. Jogging, walking, stair climbing and dancing are examples of weight-bearing exercise with different degrees of impact. The second type of exercises are resistance exercises or activities that use muscular strength to improve muscle mass and strengthen bone. These activities include weight lifting, such as using free weights and weight machines found at gyms and health clubs. We recommend that before starting any exercise program, you should consult with a knowledgeable physician about your fracture risk. The important thing to remember is that Osteoporosis is treatable, and preventable with weight-bearing exercises, a healthy diet and keeping your bones in mind.

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