How To Prevent Osteoporosis after 40
Whilst there are many things to celebrate and enjoy about life after 40, we also have to remember that the odds of developing certain diseases do increase with age. Osteoporosis is one of those, and it affects women far more than men. Why? Because we tend to have smaller, thinner bones than men to start with, live longer meaning that our bones are susceptible to age-related weakening for longer, and estrogen, which protects our bone density, decreases significantly during and after Menopause, leaving us with reduced bone mass and therefore weaker bones.
What exactly is Osteoporosis?
Losing bone density as we age is normal, however some people lose bone faster than others and this is what leads to Osteoporosis and the further weakening of your bones, leaving you susceptible to breaks and fractures. Osteoporosis is usually caused by calcium or vitamin D deficiency and hormonal changes in the body (most likely as a result of Menopause). As it has no symptoms there is generally no real way of knowing if you are at risk, until you suffer an unexpected fracture that is.
What can we do to prevent it?
In order to prevent Osteoporosis, we need to protect our bone mass and strength. Fortunately, like so many age-related diseases, there are steps that you can take now to reduce the likelihood of developing Osteoporosis, such as:
- Stop smoking
- Do regular weight-bearing exercise such as walking, jogging, or playing tennis
- Take up strength training such as pushups, weightlifting and squats.
- Get enough Calcium and Vitamin D
It's estimated that over 3 million people in the UK alone have Osteoporosis. Managing your lifestyle now will help to reduce the odds of you being one of them in the future.