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The Importance of Physical Activity in Preventing Osteoporosis

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Did you know that more than 200 million individuals worldwide have osteoporosis? There are 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 years who will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture within their lifetime.

It is the most common chronic metabolic bone disease. However, physical activity has been linked to helping prevent susceptible individuals from getting osteoporosis.

In this article, you will learn about osteoporosis, the primary causes of osteoporosis, why physical activity is essential, and how physical activity can prevent osteoporosis from occurring.

What is osteoporosis and the primary cause?

I’m sure you’ve heard about osteoporosis before, but do you know what it entails?

If you’re unsure, osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both can occur—resulting in bones becoming weak and brittle, easily breaking, fracturing, or creating minor bumps.

Osteoporosis means “porous bones,” meaning that there are larger holes and spaces within the bones. It is common in elderly individuals due to their bones becoming less dense as they age.

Osteoporosis is called a silent disease for the reason you can’t feel your bones weakening, and breaking a bone is often the first sign of osteoporosis. Another sign is when someone notices themselves getting shorter or their spine curving forward.

The development of osteoporosis is mainly due to a lifelong lack of calcium, a drop in estrogen levels, and eating disorders. Lack of calcium contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss, and an increased risk of fractures.

Lower estrogen levels cause bone loss due to a lack of hormones that help build and maintain bones. Lastly, eating disorders are associated with osteoporosis due to the restriction of food intake, and being underweight can weaken bones.

How can physical activity prevent osteoporosis?

Being physically active regularly can reduce bone loss and conserves bone tissue, ultimately lowering the risk of fractures.

Exercise also helps keep bones, joints, and muscles healthy and ensures mobility, balance, and coordination. In addition, it reduces pain and puts you in a better mood.

Preventing osteoporosis by incorporating physical activity into your daily lifestyle is beneficial. Exercise that helps prevent osteoporosis from occurring includes weightlifting, running, walking, and aerobics.

Load-bearing or weight-bearing movement helps keep bones strong by causing muscles and tendons to pull on the bones resulting in stimulating bone cells to produce more bone. The weight can be created by your body or external weights.

Individuals with osteoporosis find that regular exercise is still an essential part of their treatment. It helps them stay mobilized and reduces the chances of bone fractures.

Conclusion

Staying physically active is one of the main contributors to preventing osteoporosis in susceptible individuals. Knowing the right exercises to incorporate is essential for your bones, joints, and muscle health.

Physical activity can also help people manage existing osteoporosis by integrating it into their treatment, making it never too late to start exercising.

 

Written by: Emmanuel J. Osemota

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