Osteoporosis – it’s a painful bone disease that is commonly associated with post-menopausal women, especially the elderly. But make no mistake, even young adults, children and men can be at risk. Sufferers often experience no symptoms in the early stages, becoming aware only after they break a bone after an innocuous bump and undergo a bone density test. However, osteoporosis is largely preventable and the sooner you get into good habits, the easier it will be to maintain good bone health into your later years.
Build Bones with Street Fit®
As you might have guessed by now, regular exercise is good for your bones – but not just any exercise, and some exercises are better than others. Bones need to work against gravity to become stronger, and the best type of exercise for that purpose is weight-bearing aerobic exercise (supplemented with weight-training, for optimal benefits).
Weight-bearing aerobics requires you to support your own body, so swimming and cycling are less effective than running, tennis and dance, for instance.
It seems that House of Pain may have been dealing out some sound, bone-healthy advice with their iconic track: ‘” Jump Around!’
High-intensity weight-bearing aerobic exercise is particularly beneficial to the bones. This is defined as any exercise where both feet leave the ground, so if you want to dance your way to a fitter, healthier frame, make the most of those leaps and flips.
If you have a history of bone breaks or already suffer from osteoporosis, let your instructor know and stick to low-intensity aerobic exercise.
Staying on Your Feet
Another way in which dance fitness can lead to a longer, better quality life is by improving your balance and co-ordination. It is a sad fact that hip fractures due to falls often mark a significant deterioration in the life of someone with osteoporosis. By learning good posture and co-ordination, dancers can reduce the risk of suffering such a fate.
Supplement Your Skeleton
In terms of diet, the two most important nutrients for promoting and maintaining bone health are Calcium and Vitamin D. We lose Calcium on a daily basis, yet our bodies do not produce it. Calcium can be obtained from dairy products like milk and cheese, fruit, and also from some green vegetables including spinach and broccoli. It is recommended that we take in 1,000mg per day (most of which goes directly to the bones and teeth) – more after the age of 50.
In order to absorb Calcium, we need Vitamin D. This is manufactured by the body when exposed to UV light, so we need to ensure we get enough daylight – especially in the winter months.