13 September 2011

Wellness: Osteoporosis

Today's tip: Catch some rays while drinking some milk or OJ*!
*(Ca-fortified, of course)

If you don't read anything else, scroll down and read "the catch"!

Quick Facts:
1:2 women are affected.
Osteoporosis is characterized by "decreased bone mass, deterioration of the bone matrix, and reduced bone architectural strength."
Typically occurs in women postmenopause (ages 45-55).
In theory, somewhat related to decreased calcitonin and estrogen levels.
Risk factors: small-framed, nonobese, Caucasian and Asian women.
This increases the risk of fracture, particularly those of the spine, hip, and wrist.

3 East Steps to Reducing Your Risk:
(1) Calcium
(2) Vitamin D
(3) Weight-bearing exercises

Did you know it is recommended to get unprotected sun exposure?  This is necessary for the synthesis of vitamin D in your body, which helps with calcium absorption and utilization.  You need about 20 minutes (some say every day, some say twice a week; so I will say in the middle: about 3.5 days a week) with emphasis on your arms.  Any more than 30 minutes per day of dangerous sun-rays and we might have to have a little discussion about skin cancer and the ABCDEFs.

As far as weight-bearing exercises are concerned, resistance and impact exercises encourage bone formation.  Examples include walking and weight-lifting.  Also, aerobics, and elliptical training.

The catch: this all matters NOW.  Reducing the risk of osteoporosis occurs by doing preventative measures in adolescence and early adulthood, especially ages 18-25.

So, grab a glass of milk or OJ, go outside
and catch some UVB rays while going on a little walk.

Smeltzer, S. C., Bare, B. G., Hinkle, J. L., & Cheever, K. H. (2010). Management of Patients with Musculoskeletal Disorders. Brunner & Suddarth's Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing (12th ed., pp. 2052-2117). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Best Osteoporosis Exercises: Weight-Bearing, Flexibility, and More. (n.d.). WebMD - Better information. Better health.. Retrieved July 24, 2011, from http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/guide/osteoporosis-exercise

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