Medical Video: Osteoporosis Exercises for Spine Strength and Posture
Bone is one of the important body parts that support your daily activities. Without strong bones, your activities can be limited.
For this reason, it is important for you to maintain healthy bones to stay strong. This needs to be done as early as possible because bone density generally decreases with age. Now, right now, are your bones still strong?
How to find out bone density
Of course it is difficult to know whether bone health is still well maintained or not. Bone strength and density cannot be seen just like that. You need to see a doctor to do a test that can show bone density so that you can detect whether you are at risk osteoporosis or not.
There are various tests that can measure bone density. One of the most commonly performed tests is dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). DEXA uses a special x-ray scanner that can measure bone density.
Usually, this bone density test is only recommended for those of you who are at risk of osteoporosis, osteopenia, had a fracture, had a spinal deformity, or a woman after menopause.
Are there other ways to find out bone health?
Aside from doing a bone density test, paying attention to the following signs can help you know bone health. The following signs can arise when your bone health begins to decline.
- Nails break easily. Nails can reflect the condition of your bones. This is because nails and bones are composed of the same minerals, namely calcium, and the same protein (collagen). If your nails break easily, this can mean your body lacks calcium in the bones. So, bones can also become easily fragile
- Gums begin to decline or escape from the teeth. Calcium that makes up the bones can continue to decrease in number, making the bones brittle. This can also occur in the jawbone. The jaw bone whose density decreases can make the gums go down or loose from the teeth. As a result, your teeth easily shake and date. As reported by Prevention, research shows that women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to lose teeth.
- Hand grip began to weaken. Research shows that there is a relationship between the strength of the hand grip and bone density in the arms, spine, and hips. So, if you feel your grip is weakening, for example when holding on to a bus or when opening a bottle, then your bone density may start to decline.
- Often feel cramps or muscle aches and bone aches. Sometimes, these symptoms may often be ignored or considered to occur due to lack of exercise. But, this symptom may indicate that your bone is losing its density.
How to keep bones strong?
Some things you can do to keep bones strong and healthy, namely:
- Increase calcium intake. Calcium is the main mineral constituent of bone. So, lack of calcium intake can cause reduced bone density. You can get calcium from food or calcium supplements. Some people, such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, teenagers, and people with vegan diet may need calcium supplements because their calcium requirements are very high and calcium from food alone may not be enough.
- Enough for vitamin D needs. Vitamin D can help the body absorb calcium, so the need for vitamin D must also be fulfilled. You can get vitamin D from the sun in the morning or evening, at least 10-15 minutes. Also, from food, such as sardines, salmon, tuna, eggs and milk.
- Regular exercise. Sports, especially those that place a strain on the bones - such as running and lifting weights - can help strengthen bones. Thus, regular exercise needs to be applied early because this can affect bone health in old age.
- Maintain ideal body weight. Body weight also affects bone health. Being overweight can increase the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. However, if you are overweight and decide to go on a weight loss diet, keep an eye on calcium intake and do regular exercise so that bone density is maintained. Do a healthy weight loss diet.
- Stop smoking and drink alcohol. Smoking and drinking alcohol can reduce bone density and increase the risk of fractures. So, you should avoid these bad habits if you want the bones to stay strong until old age.