By Alexandria “Wisteria” Prejido, Staff Writer

The month of May is dubbed National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. Osteoporosis is a bone condition where bones become brittle, fragile and more likely to break.  Osteoporosis has been called “the silent thief” for it robs bone density, often from women, without outward signs.

There are several risk factors of osteoporosis. Some of the risk factors are age (as we grow older, our bones become weaker and less dense), gender (osteoporosis occurs more often in females), low calcium intake, having a family history of osteoporosis; and a sedentary lifestyle (people who spend a lot of time sitting are at greater risk for osteoporosis).

There are many risk factors of osteoporosis, as there are ways to prevent it. You can start with healthy diet that provides adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. According to the Institute of Medicine, individuals age 19 to 50 years are recommended to take in 1 mg of calcium daily from their diet.  Getting regular exercise can also help prevent osteoporosis.  Exercise can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss. You would reap the most benefits if you start being active when you’re young and continue being active throughout life. Exercises such as walking, jogging, running, stair climbing and even as something as simple as carrying groceries are considered to be regular weight-bearing exercise and can help in prevention. Other preventive measures include avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol. Smoking increases bone loss and excessive alcohol can disrupt and decrease bone formation, reducing the body’s ability to absorb calcium.

Picture credit: http://www.nof.org/