Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Osteoporosis Prevention

The constant instability of the weather on the prairies has made things quite interesting to say the least. The cold winter and sudden warm days then freezing has left the roads like ice rinks. Everyone I’ve talked to knows someone who has slipped and fallen. Many resulting in breaks and fractures. Aside from staying inside or learning how to do break-falls there’s not much else you can do. Not about the weather anyhow.

Did you know that 50% of women and 25% of men over age 50 will suffer at least one bone fracture in their lifetime! And this excludes those caused by slips and falls.

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone that can lead to fractures. Bone mineral density becomes reduced or brittle. Your body continuously breaks down bone, releases calcium in the blood and reforms again. This breaking down and replacement is necessary for growth, for repair, and for maintenance of a properly functioning body. Osteoporosis means “porous bone” and is a result of bone loss exceeding what is need for new bone.

Did you know that women are five times more likely than men to develop the disease? Part of the reason could be because woman do not focus on weight training as much as men.

And this is not just a disease of the elderly. Current research shows that kids are putting themselves at risk now for osteoporosis later in life. Bones need calcium and physical activity to become strong. The most crucial time for bone building is during the pre-teen and teen years, but many young people are not getting enough calcium or physical activity.

According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation Report on Canadian Kids only 63% of 6-12 year old kids are active. In addition Canadian children watch TV for an average of 2.4 hours each day! Not only that, but soft drinks and other beverages often replace calcium-rich foods.

Achieving a higher peak bone mass through exercise and proper nutrition during adolescence is important for the prevention of osteoporosis. By maintaining dense, sturdy bones, you can stay active and independent into your 80s, 90s, and beyond!

The best prevention relates to Lifestyle. Exercise and proper nutrition are the most important factors to not only delay bone degeneration, but also increase or improve bone density.

Regular weight-bearing exercises help stimulate bone mass. Resistance (weight) training and activities that involve impact like stair climbing, jogging, aerobics and racquet sports are best. Intensity is the key to success and emphasis should be on activities that require your muscles to work against gravity.

If you do have osteoporosis high impact exercises and bending and twisting of the trunk are NOT recommended. These activities increase compression in your spine and can lead to fractures of weak bones.

Calcium rich foods are necessary to maintaining strong healthy bones. Follow the Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating by including;
2-4 servings of milk products (yogurt, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, tofu, etc)
7-10 servings of vegetables and fruit (broccoli, rutabaga, orange, navy beans, greens, etc)
2-3 servings of meat and alternatives (salmon, shrimp, oysters, almonds, seaweed, etc.)

Caffeine (coffee or pop) and salt (sodium) have a negative impact on bone mass. Substitute with milk, water and calcium fortified soy or orange juice.

Cut back on processed foods and limit foods and beverages high in calories, fat and sugar.

Other factors

Avoid smoking.

Reduce or eliminate alcohol intake.

Vitamin D. About 20 minutes a day of unfiltered sunlight on the skin is best. Of course this is quite difficult at this time of year so oral supplementation is sufficient.

Vitamin K. Found in dark-green, leafy vegetables, this vitamin helps get calcium into your bones and helps prevent bone from breaking down.

Be active as a family.

And PLEASE – be a good role model for kids!


It is estimated that between 35-50% of women over 50 have had at least one vertebral fracture. Twice that of men. Of this, only about a third are recognized. By strengthening your back you help to reduce your chance of vertebral fractures, increase your posture and helps relieve lower back pain.

If osteoporosis is suspected, have your doctor take a Bone Mineral Density test to see if you have the disease. Ask about options and what exercises are recommended.

Prevention is far better than treatment. By living a healthy lifestyle you can help reduce your chance of osteoporosis and its resulting problems. Remember the old LifeCall commercials? “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” I know that when I hit my 70’s & 80’s I will still want to participate – not just sit on the sidelines watching and wishing…..

Monday, March 9, 2009


There will be a benefit social on March 20th 2009 at the Pyramid Cabaret for Jackson Dale Baker.

Dale died suddenly on December 13th from a snowmobile accident.

Part-owner of Dale & Ron's Auto Service on Roblin, he was known for his honest and upfront nature.

The benefit social is to not only help out his wife and children but to remember Dale for the great type of guy he was. Dale was well known around the St.James community where he grew up and was always willing to lend a hand.

If you'd like more information feel free to send me an email or phone call.

J.D. Baker Benefit Social
March 20, 2009
Pyramid Cabaret
176 Fort Street
Silent Auction