We can’t prevent ourselves from aging but we can lower our risk of developing some of the problems associated with old age.
One such problem is osteoporosis, a bone disease that manifests when the body loses too much bone, generates too little bone, or both. This causes the body to become easily susceptible to fractures, most commonly in the hip, wrist, or spine. Even minor bumps or sneezes can instigate fractures.
More than 54 Americans have low bone density, a precursor to osteoporosis. This silent disease, which affects women more than men, provokes an estimated two million broken bones annually. About one in two women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis, and about one in four men. For women more than 45 years of age, osteoporosis accounts for more days spent in a hospital than many other diseases, such as diabetes and breast cancer.
Osteoporosis prevention hinges on a lifetime commitment to healthy habits comprising of exercise and well-balanced diets.
Exercise builds bone strength and density while you’re young and maintains it while you age. May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month, which has launched the Jumping Jack Challenge. Jumping Jacks, which builds and maintains bone density, serve as an osteoporosis awareness-building activity in the campaign. Participating is easy: film yourself (or children/friends) doing ten jumping jacks in less than ten seconds and post the video to your social media pages. When you post the video tag your friends and family and challenge them to the Jumping Jack Challenge. Use the #JumpingJackChallenge hashtag and encourage people to donate to the National Osteoporosis Foundation here.
Consuming enough calcium and vitamin D are also essential in building and maintaining bone density. Our bones and teeth are where about 99% of the calcium found in our bodies is located. Calcium is constantly departing our bodies through skin and sweat – and our bodies can’t produce new calcium. It’s why consumption is so critical. If the body doesn’t receive enough calcium from food, it’ll take it from our bones.
No matter your age you can do a lot to protect your bones and improve their health. Adopt the habits that galvanize strong bone health – like diet and exercise – and maintain them throughout your entire life.