Stronger bones for longer life

Regular exercise will help prevent the chances of developing osteoporosis.
Regular exercise will help prevent the chances of developing osteoporosis. Brenda Strong

IN Australia, about 2.2 million Australians suffer from osteoporosis, with 11% of men and 27% of women aged 60 and over affected by this silent killer.

It is considered silent, because most people do not know they have the disease until after a major fall or fracture causes it to be detected.

After the age of 45, a number of dietary and lifestyle tips should be considered to help prevent the chances of developing osteoporosis.

Getting enough vitamin D is important, and this is readily available via sunlight in our mostly beautiful weather on the Sunshine Coast. Just being outdoors for 20 to 30 minutes each day will provide you with enough exposure to sunlight to maintain the production of vitamin D.

But to greatly reduce your chances of osteoporosis, you also need to avoid cigarette smoking, because smoking lowers levels of oestrogen and bone mineral density. Smokers suffer more fractures than non-smokers.

Regular exercise will help a lot, particularly if it involves weight-bearing and resistance exercises.

These include lifting weights or resistance training, such as jumping or using weights while walking.

You should also reduce your levels of soft drink consumption.

Soft drinks contain high levels of phosphorus, which binds with calcium to make less calcium available to build healthy bones.

Lastly, consider your acid-alkaline balance in your food and drink intake and try to adopt a Mediterranean diet which has a variety of other health benefits.

Making these small changes in what you do and eat will lead to a healthier lifestyle and significantly reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis.

Professor John B Lowe is the head of the School of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Topics:  health lifestyle

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Valley stalwart John O'Brien passes away

BIG LOSS: John O'Brien (left) had a passion for rugby league.

John O'Brien passed away last Friday at the age of 82.

Tour gives a valuable ag insight

FIRST-HAND: Withcott Seedlings compliance manager Joe Shiels talks to participants of the the pilot AgWork tour.

The pilot AgWork tour was held last week.

Lake Clarendon says no way to bullying

STAND TOGETHER: Principal Susan Wright and school captains Xanthea Kugel and Felicity Boon with the anti-bullying pledge.

Take a stand and say 'No way!' to bullying

Local Partners