Healthy Aging: Exercise & Nutrition for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a common part of aging that causes bones to become weak and brittle, although it can affect some people more than others. While it can’t be completely prevented, exercise and getting the right nutrients throughout life can help slow down the process. Because osteoporosis is a common and serious bone disease, it is important for individuals to learn how to boost bone density and slow the development of the disease later in life.

Since our bones are predominantly made up of calcium, it’s important to consume the right amount each day to ensure proper bone development. Most people already consume the amount they need daily, but it’s also easy to find over the counter calcium pills to take if needed. Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium and is an equally important part of your diet. We get D3 naturally from sunlight, but if you don’t spend a lot of time outside in the sun, you may need to take a supplement.

Exercise is an extremely important aspect of maintaining bone health. Regular exercise can help strengthen the bones and make them less likely to decline as you age. Weight-bearing exercise is best or exercising against gravity like walking, aerobics or Pilates. Doctors recommend about 150 minutes of exercise a week, or about 30 minutes five times a week. The exceptional team of physicians at Cone Health is dedicated to educating the community about bone health and how to support it through exercise and nutrition.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Bill Plonk is a geriatrician with Mebane Medical Clinic and a member of Cone Health Medical Group. Dr. Plonk completed medical school at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1989 and his family and community medicine residency at the University of Missouri-Columbia Hospital and Clinics in 1992. He completed a fellowship in geriatrics at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center in 2004. Dr. Plonk is board certified in Geriatric Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine.