By Martha Jette
Osteoporosis involves a decrease in bone density causing bones that are more porous and susceptible to fractures and breaks even from minor accidents. Spinal fractures and curving of the spine, and hip fractures are just a few of the risk factors of osteoporosis.
To stave off and hopefully avoid this debilitating condition, men need to do high-impact weight bearing exercises done standing upright, such as jogging/running, stair climbing, hiking, rope jumping, dancing, sports like basketball and volleyball, and aerobics.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation notes that bones are ‘living tissue’ that can become stronger with regular use. The foundation suggests combining high-impact weight bearing exercises with resistance training (lifting weights) for a greater health benefit.
Men Over 50
Older men who might already be experiencing loss of bone density should still exercise. They are higher risk candidates for osteoporosis that can cause back pain, height loss and kyphosis due to vertebral fractures. Thirty minutes three times a week of low impact exercises such as deep-water walking, water aerobics, swimming, using a stair-step machine, elliptical training and low impact aerobics have proved beneficial.
There are also exercises to improve balance and posture, increase muscle strength and decrease risk the risk of falls or broken bones. As well, balance exercises routines like Tai Chi help improve balance and strengthen leg muscles.
Older men who do not yet have osteoporosis should continue with high-impact weight-bearing exercise, according to a study at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Senior athletes (men and women between 50 and 93) who participated in the Senior Olympics found that: “these athletes had higher bone mineral density than those who didn’t take part in these activities.”
“My colleagues and I were surprised to see that active adult participation in the high-impact sports had such a positive influence on bone health, even in the oldest athletes,” said Dr. Vonda Wright, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the university.
In Medical News Today Dr. Wright, who is the lead author and assistant professor in the department of orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said: “While we know that exercise is vital as we get older, this study finds that the kind of exercise we choose can be just as important. The findings show that a key to maintaining strong, healthy bones as we age is to engage in impact sports.”
Of course, all men should also eat a diet high in calcium and Vitamin D to avoid osteoporosis later in life. Choose foods like dairy products, broccoli and green beans, nuts, salmon and sardines, white rice, whole wheat bread, apricots, figs and oranges, to name a few. Balancing an appropriate exercise regime with healthy eating will go a long way toward avoiding osteoporosis.
- HealthWatch: Bone Density Tests Need Not Be As Frequent (sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com)
- Health Tip: Exercise for Healthier Bones (healthnb365.wordpress.com)
- The Importance of Bones, Calcium, and Vitamin D (waltershull.wordpress.com)
- World-first guide to tackle osteoporosis (news.smh.com.au)
- Low-Cost Ways to Protect Your Bones (webmd.com)
- Osteoporosis Development through Different Factors (fosamaxfracturelawsuit.typepad.com)
- Take Action to Protect Your Bones (foodfromthegarden.wordpress.com)
- Bone Density at Age 67 May Predict Later Bone Health (webmd.com)