Good health gives you the ability to continue doing the things you want and need to do. Maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle is the best way to achieve it. As we age, our risk increases for many chronic conditions that can affect our health and independence so it’s important to know the facts, your risk factors, and what you can do to stay healthy from head to toe – and that includes your bones.
Facts about osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the bones. Fractures caused by osteoporosis occur most commonly in the hip, backbone (spine) and wrist, with minimal or no trauma.1 Osteoporosis can occur at any age, but the risk increases as you get older.1 Most people with osteoporosis won’t know they have it until they break a bone, but it’s more common than you might think. One-half of women and one-quarter of men over age 50 will suffer a broken bone due to osteoporosis.2 The risk is higher among women with a family history of broken bones or osteoporosis and who:1
- have broken a bone after age 50
- had their ovaries removed before their periods stopped experienced early menopause
- have had calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency throughout their lives
- were on extended bed rest or were physically inactive
- smoke (smoking may result in less calcium being absorbed through diet)
- take certain medications, including those for arthritis and asthma, and some cancer drugs
- used certain medicines for an extended time
- are small-framed
Osteoporosis may be common, but it is not a normal part of aging. The disease can be treated, and even prevented.
6 ways you can reduce your risk
There are positive actions you can take to protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis and related fractures:3
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D.
- Avoid smoking.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Take medications as prescribed.
- Exercise regularly.
Two types of exercises are important to build and maintain bone density: weight-bearing (walking, stair climbing, tennis, dancing, using elliptical machines) and muscle-strengthening (lifting weights, using elastic bands, yoga, using weight machines).4,5
Just like muscle, bone is living tissue, and regular exercise can help strengthen it. Physical activity also helps maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which can help prevent falls and related fractures.4
If you have osteoporosis, ask your doctor which exercises are safe for you.
Fight osteoporosis with SilverSneakers
SilverSneakers® is the nation’s leading lifestyle and fitness program designed specifically for older adults, and it’s included with your Blue Medicare Advantage membership at no additional cost. Join in from your living room or in person. Once you enroll, you’ll have instant access to virtual workouts, wellness videos, nutrition workshops and more through SilverSneakers LIVE™ and SilverSneakers On-Demand™. SilverSneakers also offers classes6 at participating locations7 across the nation where you can use strength equipment and weight machines your bones will love! Go to SilverSneakers.com to learn more!
Get active, protect your bones, and live every day to the fullest. And always talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/prevention/ prevention-and-healthy-living/
- www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/exercise/ exercise-your-bone-health
- Membership includes SilverSneakers instructor-led group fitness classes. Some locations offer members additional classes. Classes vary by location.
- Participating locations (“PL”) are not owned or operated by Tivity Health, Inc. or its affiliates. Use of PL facilities and amenities is limited to terms and conditions of PL basic membership. Facilities and amenities vary by PL.
SilverSneakers is a registered trademark of Tivity Health, Inc. SilverSneakers LIVE and SilverSneakers On-Demand are trademarks of Tivity Health, Inc. © 2021 Tivity Health, Inc. All rights reserved. SSFP1190_0621