Osteoporosis: Why we need to look after our bones

Osteoporosis: Why we need to look after our bones

3.5 million people in the UK and Ireland are living with osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease, where even coughing or sneezing could break a bone.

The condition mostly affects women over the age of 50, but bone health is still important for everyone.

Lauren Wiggins, director of clinical services at the Royal Osteoporosis Society, explains “Osteoporosis causes 500,000 broken bones every year in the UK, and has a devastating personal and financial impact on people’s lives,”

In this video the ROS explains how to keep bones healthy.

What can You do?

According to the NHS you should:

1. Eat a healthy balanced diet rich in calcium: Calcium is a mineral needed by your body to maintain healthy bones and teeth. As your body cannot produce calcium, you absorb it from the food you eat. The government recommended that adults over the age of 50 eat 700 mg of calcium a day to meet their daily requirements.

2. Spend time outside to build up your vitamin D levels: You need vitamin D for healthy bones as it helps your body absorb calcium from the food you eat. Your skin makes most of the vitamin D your bodies need from sunlight. Most people in the UK get enough vitamin D by exposing their hands and face to the sun for 10 minutes, once or twice a day

3. Do regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises: To maintain healthy bones you need to keep active and do plenty of weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises. Weight-bearing exercises are exercises where you support the weight of your body through your arms, legs, and spine. As well as weight-bearing exercises, you should also attempt muscle-strengthening exercises at least 2 times a week to keep your bones strong.

4. Stop smoking, and limit the amount of alcohol you drink: alcohol prevents the body from absorbing calcium from the foods we eat. Drinking regularly to excess can weaken the bones, increasing the risk of a break after a fall. Smoking affects how well the bone-building cells in your bodywork.

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