No bones about it

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

What would you do if you could turn back time? If you knew then, what you know now, what changes would you make? Most health concerns that you experience in later life can be avoided by changing your lifestyle today. Take osteoporosis, for example, it is treatable, preventable and in some cases, reversible.

An awareness of risk factors and early diagnosis are the first steps towards preventing and reversing the effects of osteoporosis. Approximately 1.4 million Canadians have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, the deterioration of bone tissue and/or low bone mass. One in four women and one in eight men over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis. The cost of treating this disease is $1.3 billion per year in Canada alone.

Why is bone density such a hot topic these days? Osteoporosis causes bone fragility and risk of fracture, which is related to the quality of life that one will enjoy in their later years. Fractures typically occur in the hip, spine or wrist and can lead to decreased mobility and independence, hospitalization, long-term and chronic care and, in some cases, death.

Bone loss can occur without symptoms so how do you know if you are at risk? Women need to be especially concerned. Risk factors include estrogen deficiency, early menopause, maternal family history of hip fracture, low body mass, insufficient calcium intake, and lack of weight bearing exercise (www.osteofound.org). People with these risk factors should take a bone mineral density test, which will tell you if you are at risk.

Make no bones about it: building bone density is a lifelong affair. Bones are tissue that grows from birth through the teenage years, reaching maximum strength and size in early adulthood. The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to build the strongest bones possible during growth. To acquire proper bone mass, children and adolescents should meet the relevant recommendations for calcium intake in their diets, obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin D (which helps your body absorb calcium), and increase the amount of daily physical activity. These lifestyle and nutrition guidelines can also be applied to adults.

To prevent, treat and reverse osteoporosis you must maintain a healthy diet and increase your levels of weight bearing, flexibility, posture and balance exercises. If your body does not get the calcium it needs from your diet, it will remove it from your bones. Good sources of calcium include beans, nuts especially almonds, dark leafy greens, grains, figs, fish with bones (salmon, sardines, etc.), and calcium-enriched orange juice and soy beverage. Exercises for prevention and reversal of osteoporosis include walking, stair climbing, jogging, resistance training, aerobics classes, dancing, and tai chi. Avoid exercises that increase your risk of falling or that involve bending forward or twisting your spine (Osteoporosis Society of Canada).

People who partake in regular weight-bearing and strength training exercises can increase their bone mass. Increased bone density, improved muscle strength and better balance will dramatically improve your later years and increase your longevity. Take care of your bones today and your body will thank you tomorrow. For more, visit www.osteoporosis.ca and www.osteofound.org.

Dale Rowe is manager of Adult Services at the Flamborough Family YMCA in Waterdown. She can be reached at 905-690-3555 ext. 7012 or online at dale_rowe@ymca.ca

No bones about it

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

What would you do if you could turn back time? If you knew then, what you know now, what changes would you make? Most health concerns that you experience in later life can be avoided by changing your lifestyle today. Take osteoporosis, for example, it is treatable, preventable and in some cases, reversible.

An awareness of risk factors and early diagnosis are the first steps towards preventing and reversing the effects of osteoporosis. Approximately 1.4 million Canadians have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, the deterioration of bone tissue and/or low bone mass. One in four women and one in eight men over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis. The cost of treating this disease is $1.3 billion per year in Canada alone.

Why is bone density such a hot topic these days? Osteoporosis causes bone fragility and risk of fracture, which is related to the quality of life that one will enjoy in their later years. Fractures typically occur in the hip, spine or wrist and can lead to decreased mobility and independence, hospitalization, long-term and chronic care and, in some cases, death.

Bone loss can occur without symptoms so how do you know if you are at risk? Women need to be especially concerned. Risk factors include estrogen deficiency, early menopause, maternal family history of hip fracture, low body mass, insufficient calcium intake, and lack of weight bearing exercise (www.osteofound.org). People with these risk factors should take a bone mineral density test, which will tell you if you are at risk.

Make no bones about it: building bone density is a lifelong affair. Bones are tissue that grows from birth through the teenage years, reaching maximum strength and size in early adulthood. The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to build the strongest bones possible during growth. To acquire proper bone mass, children and adolescents should meet the relevant recommendations for calcium intake in their diets, obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin D (which helps your body absorb calcium), and increase the amount of daily physical activity. These lifestyle and nutrition guidelines can also be applied to adults.

To prevent, treat and reverse osteoporosis you must maintain a healthy diet and increase your levels of weight bearing, flexibility, posture and balance exercises. If your body does not get the calcium it needs from your diet, it will remove it from your bones. Good sources of calcium include beans, nuts especially almonds, dark leafy greens, grains, figs, fish with bones (salmon, sardines, etc.), and calcium-enriched orange juice and soy beverage. Exercises for prevention and reversal of osteoporosis include walking, stair climbing, jogging, resistance training, aerobics classes, dancing, and tai chi. Avoid exercises that increase your risk of falling or that involve bending forward or twisting your spine (Osteoporosis Society of Canada).

People who partake in regular weight-bearing and strength training exercises can increase their bone mass. Increased bone density, improved muscle strength and better balance will dramatically improve your later years and increase your longevity. Take care of your bones today and your body will thank you tomorrow. For more, visit www.osteoporosis.ca and www.osteofound.org.

Dale Rowe is manager of Adult Services at the Flamborough Family YMCA in Waterdown. She can be reached at 905-690-3555 ext. 7012 or online at dale_rowe@ymca.ca

No bones about it

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

What would you do if you could turn back time? If you knew then, what you know now, what changes would you make? Most health concerns that you experience in later life can be avoided by changing your lifestyle today. Take osteoporosis, for example, it is treatable, preventable and in some cases, reversible.

An awareness of risk factors and early diagnosis are the first steps towards preventing and reversing the effects of osteoporosis. Approximately 1.4 million Canadians have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, the deterioration of bone tissue and/or low bone mass. One in four women and one in eight men over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis. The cost of treating this disease is $1.3 billion per year in Canada alone.

Why is bone density such a hot topic these days? Osteoporosis causes bone fragility and risk of fracture, which is related to the quality of life that one will enjoy in their later years. Fractures typically occur in the hip, spine or wrist and can lead to decreased mobility and independence, hospitalization, long-term and chronic care and, in some cases, death.

Bone loss can occur without symptoms so how do you know if you are at risk? Women need to be especially concerned. Risk factors include estrogen deficiency, early menopause, maternal family history of hip fracture, low body mass, insufficient calcium intake, and lack of weight bearing exercise (www.osteofound.org). People with these risk factors should take a bone mineral density test, which will tell you if you are at risk.

Make no bones about it: building bone density is a lifelong affair. Bones are tissue that grows from birth through the teenage years, reaching maximum strength and size in early adulthood. The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to build the strongest bones possible during growth. To acquire proper bone mass, children and adolescents should meet the relevant recommendations for calcium intake in their diets, obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin D (which helps your body absorb calcium), and increase the amount of daily physical activity. These lifestyle and nutrition guidelines can also be applied to adults.

To prevent, treat and reverse osteoporosis you must maintain a healthy diet and increase your levels of weight bearing, flexibility, posture and balance exercises. If your body does not get the calcium it needs from your diet, it will remove it from your bones. Good sources of calcium include beans, nuts especially almonds, dark leafy greens, grains, figs, fish with bones (salmon, sardines, etc.), and calcium-enriched orange juice and soy beverage. Exercises for prevention and reversal of osteoporosis include walking, stair climbing, jogging, resistance training, aerobics classes, dancing, and tai chi. Avoid exercises that increase your risk of falling or that involve bending forward or twisting your spine (Osteoporosis Society of Canada).

People who partake in regular weight-bearing and strength training exercises can increase their bone mass. Increased bone density, improved muscle strength and better balance will dramatically improve your later years and increase your longevity. Take care of your bones today and your body will thank you tomorrow. For more, visit www.osteoporosis.ca and www.osteofound.org.

Dale Rowe is manager of Adult Services at the Flamborough Family YMCA in Waterdown. She can be reached at 905-690-3555 ext. 7012 or online at dale_rowe@ymca.ca