Our bones are truly miraculous. Bones are in a constant state of change, as wondrous little cells known as osteoclasts and osteoblasts cause old bone to be absorbed and new bone to replace it.
When we are young, we produce more bone than we lose. Bone mass steadily increases as we age into our mid-20s. The process of losing more bone than we make begins slowly and at different ages. Post-menopausal women are at by far the greatest risk because lower estrogen levels mean greater bone loss.
The Mayo Clinic recently detailed a long list of risk factors for bone loss. Seventy percent of these risk factors are inherited and therefore beyond our control. But others can be modified. At EW, our mantra toward osteoporosis is to control what you can control. What makes a good action plan? What lifestyle choices help prevent bone loss?
It’s important to avoid certain things.
Eating disorders that lead to being underweight reduce bone, as do drinking more than two alcoholic drinks per day and using tobacco. But it’s also important to take affirmative steps to prevent bone loss. As a start, eat a healthy diet with plenty of protein and calcium. Add a Vitamin D supplement of up to 4000 IU per day to help with calcium absorption.
Far and away your best tool for controlling bone loss is to engage in weight-bearing exercise. Walking, if you can, is a perfect weight-bearing activity. Alternatives such as swimming and cycling are not as helpful. In fact, a sampling of Tour de France riders has shown they lose as much as 60 percent of their hip bone mass over the three weeks of the tour because they stand up as little as possible after each grueling stage.
EW Motion Therapy can custom-design your weight-bearing resistance training with the highest level of expertise. Programs that include Pilates, yoga, and kettlebell work are proven to prevent bone loss and promote healthy bone density. It makes sense to do the obvious things first. Control what you can control!