Lords a Leaping Bone Health

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Healthy bone compared to osteoporotic bone.

I wonder how healthy the bones of the ten Lords are. Depending on how often they leap, as well as other risk factors, the Lords are likely to have dense bones, and a decreased risk of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone in which the bone density is low, or the bones are porous. Approximately 20% of those who suffer from osteoporosis are men. So, while women make up the majority of osteoporosis cases, men get it too.

The risk for osteoporosis goes up as we get older, but what we can do to cut those risks is to take care of ourselves early and throughout life. About 85% of our adult bone mass is acquired when we are teenagers (age 18 for girls, 20 for boys).

Most people can cut their risk of osteoporosis by following a healthy lifestyle throughout life.

Diet:

  • Get adequate calcium throughout life through diet and supplements (if necessary). Most people need about 1000 mg of calcium per day.
  • Get your vitamin D. The sunshine vitamin helps with calcium absorption and healthy bones. Many calcium supplements come with vitamin D in the same supplement.
  • Do not drink excessive alcohol. Too much alcohol tends to harm bones. The belief is that those who consume too much alcohol follow less healthy diets.

Exercise:

  • Sedentary people are at higher risk for bone health issues. Get up and move.
  • Engage in weight-bearing activities. To help the bones be stronger and denser, weight-bearing exercise is vital. Weight bearing means the foot/body comes off the ground and lands again. Examples include walking, running, aerobics, dancing, and stair mills (the machine that looks like an escalator). Jumping rope or “leaping” is also beneficial. Biking, elliptical machines, and swimming are not weight-bearing activities even though they are good for you for other reasons.

Don’t smoke:

  • Smoking increases risk of low bone mass. This is yet another reason to quit or never start.

As you age, your risk for osteoporosis increases, so ask you primary care provider about testing for osteoporosis after age 50.

For more information about osteoporosis, check the National Osteoporosis Foundation. I am a board member of the Oteoporosis Foundation of New Mexico.

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