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Diet and exercise to treat osteoporosis

August 14, 2017

Diet and exercise to treat osteoporosis

Along with medication, diet and exercise also play a huge role in the treatment of osteoporosis, which is a disease where bone loss occurs in the body leading to fractures.

Good nutrition involves eating the right foods that can keep us healthy. For strong bones, calcium and vitamin D are essential nutritional components. A calcium rich diet helps to strengthen bones and avoid broken ones. Sources of calcium include yogurt, cheese, broccoli, spinach, sardines and salmon, almonds, orange juice, etc. Vitamin D is another necessity to treat osteoporosis. Vitamin D plays this significant role of helping the bones absorb calcium from the food eaten. Without Vitamin D, the body starts to absorb calcium from the bones instead and it becomes difficult to maintain normal calcium levels in the blood. This makes the bone weaker. Vitamin D can also be produced when the body is exposed to direct sunlight. It can also be sourced from your diet. Most individuals can get vitamin D naturally with the food they eat. Higher concentration of calcium is found in dairy products that are fortified, the yolk of the egg, liver and saltwater fish, for instance. While the production of vitamin D is found to decrease as people grow older, in people who don’t go outdoors much, and in countries way above and below the equator, during winter, it can be increased with the intake of supplements.

Exercise is another significant factor in the treatment of osteoporosis. As hard as bones appear, they are a lot like muscles in that they are living tissues that respond to exercise. Exercising helps improve bone strength and health. Regular weight bearing exercises are the best for osteoporosis. Weight bearing exercises work against gravity and include activities like walking, jogging, and hiking. Dancing, climbing stairs as well as playing tennis are all weight bearing exercises on the other hand. Another kind of exercise is resistance exercise which uses muscle strength to help build bone strength. Resistance exercises include weight lifting like weight machines and free weights.

An added benefit of exercise is overall health and balance which can help prevent an individual from falling and fracturing a bone.

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