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Exercise and Bone Health

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Exercise and Bone Health

On March 17th, 2018 Dr. Bob Sciortino from St. Louis Orthopedics will be in studio to discuss newer, more minimally invasive treatments for hip replacements.

Every year, almost 300,000 Americans are hospitalized for hip fractures, and many of those never fully recover. So is there anything we can do to help minimize the risk and improve our bone health? The short answer is yes, although genetics does play a role. However, numerous studies show that there are three modifiable behaviors that can positively impact bone health: exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle choices.

For exercise, experts recommend variety. Strength training makes your muscles physically stronger; resistance exercises may promote bone development and protect against injury; and cardio workouts, even a brisk walk will boost heart health. Interval training (short bursts of high intensity during exercise) has been shown to avoid premature bone loss. Dr. Sciortino says “a little bit of exercise every day can go a long way to promoting bone health.” He does, however, recommend that moderation is important too. “Repetitive stress, like running every day, is not good for your bones either. Everything in moderation.”

Nutrition also plays a key role in bone health as we age. Experts recommend a diet that includes plenty of fruits, low-fat dairy products and vegetables. Calcium is an essential mineral that supports the human body to build bones and keep them healthy. Incorporate calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, spinach, kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes, green beans, and almonds into your diet. Some orange juices come fortified with calcium, too. Sodium has been shown to leach calcium from the body, so try to keep your diet low in sodium. Bones also need Vitamin D, which we get naturally from sunlight and from foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, liver, and in fortified milk and dairy products. It helps the body absorb calcium and build bone and muscle.

Smoking and alcohol are two lifestyle choices that have been shown to have an adverse effect on bone health. Both have been shown to increase the risk of osteoporosis and brittle bones. In addition to avoiding these two vices, try to get more sleep. Studies have shown poor sleep directly correlates with low bone density.

To find out more about bone health, tune in Saturday.