Men’s Health: Bone Up On Osteoporosis

Bone mass loss in men equals that of women once a man reaches age 65. Women’s bone loss starts earlier and it gets more press. But men, you are not exempt. The ability to process calcium which is essential to skeletal health decreases in both sexes; bones become fragile and prone to fracture as a result of Osteoporosis.


Losing Bone Mass Doesn’t Have to Happen

Keep your bone mass in the healthy range by doing things you have heard 100 times before.  These health tips need repeating:

  • Eat calcium and vitamin D rich foods to help keep your bones and joints healthy.
  • Add some dairy foods, calcium-set tofu, green leafy vegetables, and small canned fish with soft bones as in sardines for example.
  • Men you should eat at least three servings of calcium and vitamin D every day.
  • Eat Spinach Popeye style it’s truly good for your bones.
  • As with everything health related, eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of protein, fruits and vegetables is the ticket.

Exercising regularly reduces your risk of osteoporosis as well, isn’t that a surprise?

Have you been a coach potato for some time?  Put down the TV remote and take that time to exercise for a minimum 30 minutes four to five [4 to 5] days a week; ideally you should work-out for 60 minutes a day. That is just two 30 minute television shows you can record for later. You can do this!  You can also break your exercise bouts up and get 60 minutes in by exercising a second time during the day 4-5 days per week. Just like caloric intake adds up each day, caloric expenditure adds up as well.

News Flash: You will be doomed to exercise failure if you choose a mode of exercise that you do not enjoy.  It seems obvious, yet many turn to jogging or treadmill climbing hating every minute of it.  Don’t set yourself up to fail.  Choose an exercise mode you truly enjoy.  If it is golf, walk and carry your clubs don’t rent the golf cart.  Warm up for your golf game by taking practice swings at the range or anywhere before you get on the course for the real action.

If it is jogging you like and you haven’t been out for a jog in a long time, start with a walk jog combination traveling 10 minutes away from your home, and turn around and do 10 minutes back. Add a 5 minute warm-up and a five minute post stretch and you have a good 30 minute workout.

Once you are comfortable at that level, slowly increase to fifteen minutes away from your home, turn around and do fifteen minutes back; add to that your warm-up and cool down and you have increased your exercise level to 40 minutes. As you become comfortable at that level, add another five minutes until you have a 60 minute workout four or five days a week.

When you are comfortable with your sixty minute workout 4 or 5 days a week add another day.  Don’t worry about the distance you are jogging, just track the time. Once you have become conditioned with the duration, and the extra day you will notice that your distance has increased as well as an outcome of your training regimen.

If you have been in sedentary mode for some time listen to your body as you exercise, if it truly hurts stop. The no pain no gain rule does not apply. If it is just a little muscle soreness that is OK. On the other hand if your muscles are screaming in pain stop the exercise. Cool down and stretch. You aren’t training for a marathon; not in the beginning anyway.

Before you begin an exercise routine:

  • Consult your healthcare provider about your overall health.
  • Stop immediately and consult your healthcare provider if you experience pain, nausea, dizziness or shortness of breath.
  • Drink plenty of water; rule of thumb is at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day; maybe more in the summer.
  • Warm-up before you exercise; if you are walking or jogging the warm-up would consist of jogging in place for about 5 minutes to warm up the muscles.  If you are swimming you would also jog in place but would add arm and shoulder circles to the warm-up.
  • Wear light clothing and the correct shoes for your exercise
  • Seek advice from a good personal trainer whose background includes a degree in exercise fitness or exercise science.  They are very knowledgeable and are good motivators as well.

Have fun and stay healthy!

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