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Osteoporosis and the Importance of Exercise

Updated on August 16, 2011

What is Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by the decrease in the density and strength of the bone. As a result of osteoporosis, bones become more fragile leading to an increased risk of fracture. Bones that are affected by osteoporosis can break/fractured with relatively minor injury that normally would not cause a bone to fracture.

If you have osteoporosis, you have an increased risk for fractured bones particularly in the hip, spine, and wrist. Osteoporosis can be present without any symptoms for decades because osteoporosis doesn’t cause symptoms until bone fractures. According to the Institute of Arthritis Care and Prevention, there are an estimated 500,000 spinal fractures, 300,000 hip fractures, 200,000 broken wrists, and 300,000 fractures of other bones each year; and about 80% of these fractures are a result of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is most common in women after menopause, and is called postmenopausal osteoporosis, but may also develop in men. Almost 50% of the women and about 25% of the men older than 50 years of age suffer a bone fracture due to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis may significantly affect life expectancy and quality of life. For example, up to 30% of patients suffering a hip fracture will require long-term nursing-home care.

Osteoporosis Treatment

Early detection and proper treatment may reduce the risk of bone fracture, but osteoporosis cannot be completely cured. Osteoporosis can be prevented by lifestyle modifications, exercise, medications and proper nutrition. Proper nutrition means a diet that is rich in calcium and vitamin D. Patients at risk for osteoporosis are generally treated with calcium and vitamin D supplements.

Importance of Exercise

Exercise refers to the activity of exerting your muscles in various ways to stay fit. Exercising is very important for a healthy lifestyle. Exercise helps in maintaining your physical fitness and mental health. Exercise strengthens your muscles, keeps you fit, control body weight, boost up energy, improves metabolism, and reduces stress.

Exercise to stay Fit and prevent Osteoporosis

Many people do not understand the importance of doing exercise regularly, but exercise play a very crucial part in keeping you fit and healthy. Exercise helps in strengthening of bones and doing exercises regularly will help you burn calories and also improves the basal metabolic rate. You tend to sweat while performing exercises which is helpful in the removal of toxins from the body. The more you sweat, the more amount of toxin is removed from the body.

Apart from helping in preventing osteoporosis, exercise helps in preventing diabetes, obesity and also lowers the risk of heart disease. It also improves sleep, mood and raise self-esteem. There are many different ways to exercise. You can either do exercises at home or you can also join a gym for the same. You can also do some very simple exercises like jogging, cycling, playing outdoor games, etc.

Though exercises help you stay fit, but too much of exercising can be harmful to the body. It is preferred to do exercises on alternate days or may be three days a week. It is always better to start with a shorter exercise period and then increase it gradually over time. Following a good exercise routine and watching what you eat can make a huge difference in your life. So, make exercises a part of your routine life to prevent Osteoporosis and stay fit and healthy.

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