Good nutrition, exercise help prevent osteoporosis


Take a walk around the block. Not only will your heart thank you, but your bones will get a beneficial kick out of the exercise.

Observe Osteoporosis Month of May with a few facts:

About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis, according to The National Osteoporosis Foundation. Osteoporotic bone breaks are most likely to occur in the hip, spine or wrist, but other bones can break, too. In addition to causing permanent pain, osteoporosis causes some patients to lose height. When osteoporosis affects vertebrae, it often leads to a stooped or hunched posture.

“Walking is the best thing you can do for bone health,” said Tara Buck, a nurse practitioner and APRN at Steward Hospital. “Asian, Caucasian and then African-American women are the most at risk for osteoporosis. Ironically, this is the only time it is good to be fat, for the heavier you are the more it makes the bones work harder.”

“Osteoporosis is the natural weakening of bone over time,” said William Romaniello, an athletic trainer and director of marketing for an orthopedic group. “As we age, our bodies lose nutrients and parts of the body can become weak, frail or simply do not function the same as when we were young.”

Good nutrition and exercise are helpful in preventing or slowing the effects of aging,” Romaniello said. “A balanced diet that includes Vitamin D and calcium is often helpful as well as simple basic exercise like biking, walking and swimming can help keep the bones strong.”

The biggest concern is as you age, your bones become soft and porous from the lack of nutrients making them more susceptible to being broken if we fall, Romaniello said.

“Minimize falls and avoid throw rugs,” Buck said. “People have fallen due to pets under feet, so always pay attention to where pets are.”

“Men and women over 60 that have issues with balance and walking should consider using a walker or cane to help steady themselves.” Romaniello said.

Keep healthy and eat leafy greens and broccoli.