Osteoporosis (brittle bones), affects 1.2 million people across the country and is more common than breast and cervical cancer. It is the cause of 165, 000 bone fractures each year.
4 out of 5 Australians don’t realise they have it – there are no symptoms, until you break a bone. Known as the silent-disease, it can have far reaching consequences, affecting your independence and life expectancy. As we age, our risk increases so it’s really important to not only be aware of the dangers, but also what you can do to keep it at bay.
What causes it?
The main cause is mineral loss in bones (eg calcium) resulting in thin, brittle bones which makes them more likely to break.
Scary fact: if you’re a woman and break your hip,you have a 25% chance of dying within the next 12 months (Prof Peter Ebeling).
Here’s the important bit: What can YOU do?
- eat a diet rich in calcium – try dark leafy greens, tofu, sesame seeds as well as dairy (if you can tolerate it)
- maintain healthy levels of vit D through safe sun exposure – get your levels checked regularly
- regular resistance exercise – that includes lifting weights, jumping, running, boxing, using stretchy bands
As we women age, menopause poses a very real threat for our bone health. It is recommended you get a bone scan to assess your risk and bone health AND, do weight bearing exercise. It’s never too late to start! Try:
- weight lifting (under supervision from a qualified trainer if you’re new to this)
- Pilates – some body weight exercise, but not enough to just rely on this (read more here)
- barre class
- anything that has some impact and causes your muscles to pull on your bones.
Whilst it is a serious condition, you can do something to improve your bone health (and overall health and fitness as a bonus), and remember: It’s never too late to start!
Click here to read more about the benefits of resistance training
Ready to start exercising? Contact me to join me for classes including outdoor fitness, Pilates and Barre. Just $7 for a week of unlimited classes