Dr Claudia Ng, BSc, DC - Beat the Virus, Not the Bone! Friday, April 03, 2020

Beat the Virus, Not the Bone!

With the recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases, you may find yourself working from home again. Besides the feeling of stiff muscles and joints from this extended period of confinement, do you know that a lack of exercise may also speed up the loss of muscle mass and increases the risk of osteoporosis?

Named “The Silent Disease”, osteoporosis can happen without any symptoms, until the bone becomes so weak that it suddenly fractures from a minor bump or strain. Building strong bones is like saving up for retirement - it takes good discipline over a lifetime! Let's take a look at how our habits can be modified to maintain a bone-saving lifestyle.

  1. Weight-bearing exercise – This is best carried out in the form of aerobic exercises such as jogging, skipping, dancing, or even jumping jacks which requires minimal amount of space. It is recommended to perform 2.5 hours per week, or 20-30 min per day of weight-bearing exercises to strengthen muscles and stimulate bone growth.
  2. Resistance exercise – Both for upper body as in push-ups, and for lower body as in squats. Try to increase gradually from one set of 10 reps to three sets of 10 every day. You may also use household items such as water bottles or food cans to simulate free weights for an energizing workout!
  3. Consume Calcium – Dairy products, firm tofu, leafy greens, nuts etc. are good sources of calcium. Adults need 1000 mg of daily intake of the mineral. If dietary sources are insufficient, calcium supplementation is recommended.
  4. Dose on Vitamin D – Sun exposure is the best way to acquire an adequate dose of vitamin D. However, UVB rays, which our body requires for the production of vitamin D, are filtered by the glass, deeming indoor sun exposure ineffective. Food sources include oily fishes such as sardines and salmon, as well as egg yolk and liver. Due to the limited variety of food choices, vitamin D supplementation is also recommended.

Need some ideas for exercises? A review of our video - How to keep active and fit while at home - Part 2 may get you inspired to create your own exercise routines. Gives your brain a good workout too! Remember, if you have any pre-existing health conditions or experience any pain while doing any exercise, please consult your chiropractor for his/her advice.

Stay tuned for our next story on building strong bones! Take care and stay healthy!