Home / Health tip / January Health Tip – Bone Care

January Health Tip – Bone Care

Posted on

By Mary Ircink, parish nurse

Yes, many people make New Year’s resolutions which include good nutrition and exercise for weight control. In addition, do you know the benefits for your bone health? The month of May is National Osteoporosis month. However I can’t wait to remind you of the importance of exercise for bone health in the New Year!

According to Neil Binkley, M.D., professor of medicine, proper nutrition is important for maintaining strong bones. Calcium, vitamin D and protein all play a part in strong bone health. Weakened bones can break more easily.

Exercise is another component of healthy bones and he believes the best exercise for bone health is the one you will actually do! Pick something you like and move! Get outside if you can. If not outside turn on music and march or dance…move… in a large space at home. Keep your children moving and teach the importance of bone health.

Regular strengthening exercises are also important. A simple test done to test muscle function is chair rise. If you cannot stand up from a chair without using your arms, that may indicate muscle weakness which increases fracture risk.

Remember to check with your health care provider before starting a new exercise program or taking over the counter supplements that could interfere with your prescribed medications.

National Osteoporosis Foundation steps to improve bone health and help prevent osteoporosis:
1) Get the calcium and vitamin D you need every day. Ask what amount is the right amount.
2) Do regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises.
3) Don’t smoke and don’t drink too much alcohol.
4) Talk to your healthcare provider about your chance of getting osteoporosis and ask when you should have a bone density test.
5) Take an osteoporosis medication when it’s right for you. Check with your health care provider.
Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation http://nof.org/nationalosteoporosismonth
Site with helpful exercises is: http://www.americanbonehealth.org/what-you-should-know/exercise