Dr. Siris shares how physical activity helps women build strong bones and prevent fractures.
When you’re growing up and you’re building the skeleton that you’re genetically empowered to build, being physically active helps you do a better job building that skeleton getting you to the optimal, to the peak bone, that you’re capable of making. You want to make as much bone as your body is able to make during the growing years.
Now once you stop growing your bones, which for a woman is somewhere in the early 30s, exercise won’t, at that point, build bone. That’s really a myth, but exercise is critical in preventing fractures because as you grow older you want to do two things – you don’t want your bones to get fragile and you don’t want your body to get fragile because so many of the fractures that we’re trying to prevent occur with a fall.
If you’re stronger when you’re younger you can stay stronger as you age. You’re less likely to fall, you will fall less often, you will fall differently if you do fall in a way that will protect your bones and that component of the cause of broken bones will be better managed. You’re not going to stop bone loss by exercising when you’re an older person, but you will certainly protect your bones this indirect way by minimizing falling.
About Dr. Ethel Siris, M.D.:
Dr. Ethel S. Siris is the Director at the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center, Columbia University, is the Madeline C. Stabile Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, and is the immediate past-President for the National Osteoporosis Foundation. She is board certified in endocrinology and internal medicine, focusing on osteoporosis, metabolic bone disease, and bone and mineral metabolism.