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Move It or Lose It!

Osteoporosis  – As kids, we’re bundles of energy, playing from dawn to dusk. But as adulthood sets in, our circle of work and responsibility grows and our circle of active play withers. The less we move, the harder it is to get moving. On average we are slumped in a chair for 9 or more hours every day. We are sitting for longer than ever and the human body was not designed to work in this way.

Unfortunately, inactivity has become normal and this trend has seen physical activity levels reduce by 20% in the last 2 decades. It should come as no surprise that the rate of osteoporosis in both men and women are on the rise.

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

Many are under the mistaken impression that a prescription drug combined with megadose calcium supplements is the answer to strong and healthy bones. But bisphosphonate drugs like Fosamax, Actonel, or Boniva are associated with serious side effects—including an increased risk of bone fracture!

Exercise Can Reduce Bone Loss – Osteoporosis

Your bones are constantly being rebuilt in a dynamic process involving the removal of old bone through osteoclasts and regeneration of new, healthy bone by osteoblasts. Load-bearing exercise works to build stronger bones by stimulating cells responsible for the synthesis and mineralization of bone (osteoblasts).

Weight-bearing exercise is actually one of the most effective remedies against osteoporosis, because as you put more tension on your muscles it puts more pressure on your bones, which then respond by continuously creating fresh, new bone.

Choose Weight-Bearing Exercises

Bones must be overloaded to stimulate new growth. This occurs during higher impact, weight-bearing exercises that involve pounding or quick movement such as running, moderate intensity weight training, jump training, stair climbing, gymnastics, tennis, and soccer. Activities such as cycling and swimming are beneficial to heart health, but are not weight-bearing and do little to improve bone density.

Research shows that walking may not provide enough impact to preserve bone mineral density. However, it’s possible that a long-term walking program (more than 1 year) may provide some benefit. But if you rely on walking for your weight-bearing exercise, consider adding stair climbing or short jogging intervals to your regular walks.

In order to maximize your results…

  • Avoid processed foods and soda, which can increase bone damage by depleting your bones of calcium.

  • Increase your consumption of raw, fresh vegetables, ideally organic.

  • Optimize your vitamin D levels, ideally from appropriate sun exposure or a vitamin D3 supplement. Vitamin D builds your bone density by helping your body absorb calcium. If you use an oral supplement, make sure you’re using vitamin D3 (not D2), and that you’re also increasing your vitamin K2 intake.

  • Maintain a healthy balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fats in your diet by taking a high-quality animal-based omega-3 supplements , and reducing your consumption of processed omega-6, found in processed foods and vegetable oils.

  • Last but not least, regular chiropractic adjustments are a must!

At WSC, we recognize the importance of exercise so much so that we try to incorporate into all of our programs. If you or someone you know has concerns about osteoporosis and not sure what exercise program is right for you, simply ask one of the doctors for guidance. Not only will we make recommendations but one of our amazing trainers can help you implement a program that is right for you.

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