Don’t wait for hot flashes to start thinking about the health of your bones.  Once you hit 30 years old, bone loss begins.  And here’s a real hot flash: your risk of getting osteoporosis is greater than your combined risk of having a heart attack, getting breast cancer, and having a stroke. 

I recently attended a fantastic lecture given by Mary O’Connor, M.D., Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at The Mayo Clinic in Florida.  Not only was she a great speaker, she delivered a very important message—loud and clear:  YOU CAN FIGHT OSTEOPOROSIS AND YOU, YOUR CHILDREN AND SIGNIFICANT OTHER SHOULD START FIGHTING IT TODAY. 

The Scary Statistics

  • Only 50% of women are able to regain their pre-fracture abilities after a hip fracture.
  • Half of all women over 50 will develop osteoporosis.
  • One in four men over 50 will develop osteoporosis.
  • One in three men will not survive one year after a hip fracture
  • Hip and spine fractures frequently lead to death.
  • Bone loss does not only occur in men and women over 50.  The University of Memphis men’s basketball team showed a 6.1% decrease in bone density during an intense training period.  The loss of calcium in sweat impacts bone loss.

 The Prescription is Simple

Get enough Calcium.  Get as much as you can through your diet with calcium-rich foods like yogurt, sardines and spinach. Take a supplement to help you meet the recommended daily requirement.  Note that growing children need the most calcium while their bones are growing.

1000 mg   

Children: 4-8 yrs

Men & Women: 19-50 yrs

Men: 51-70 yrs

1300 mg   

Children:  9-18 yrs

1200 mg   

Women over 50 yrs

Men over 70 yrs

2000 mg    Safe Upper Limit

Take Vitamin D.  If you didn’t read my article about Vitamin D, please take a look at it.  The benefits of taking a Vitamin D supplement are enormous.  According to Dr. O’Connor, EVERYONE should be taking this inexpensive and important supplement.

Perform Weight Bearing Exercises on a Consistent Basis.  Lift weights, walk, run or play tennis.  Do anything that “stresses” your bones in a good way.  Regular weight bearing exercises cause your bones to adapt to the impact of the weight by building more cells which makes them stronger. Without the ability to “bear weight” astronauts come back from an extended flight into outer space with significant bone loss.

Fall Prevention.  Making your home as safe as possible is especially important for older individuals.  Keep floors clean and all rooms free of clutter, Install handrails in the bathroom where needed.  Talk with family members to determine if your house is a “safe” place for you to live.

Along with regular strength training, you can also practice balance exercises which will help prevent a fall.  Ask a personal trainer at your gym to teach you a few simple balance exercises and incorporate them into your weekly routine.

As Dr. O’Connor said, “No one EVER wants to rely on a walker to get around.”  Be proactive when it comes to the health of your bones and hopefully you won’t have to deal with this devastating disease.  If you’d like more information please check out this informative site

Strong Body, Strong Bones,