The Effect Of Extreme Sports Activities to Bone Health

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Sports are good for health. Besides of having good balance of diets, physical activities may also help our body balance between the body’s usage and the storage of energy. However, robust sports or the one which requires a lot of energies may also have negative impact to the body.

The mass or density of bones is measured by the bone cell counts. In general, bones with higher mass are stronger. Though bone mass are mostly influence by genetic factor, the effect of environment and certain medication may also influence the bone condition. Bone density are usually began to grow during childhood and comes to it peak at the age of around 25. The bone mass balance then stays for 10 years before it starts to get depleted with ageing, dietary and the individual physical activities.

However, for extreme sportsmen, the physical activities and dietaries factor would have greater influence to their bone mass. Bones need adequate supply of calcium not only during growth, but to stay strong until old age for daily activities.

Activities which need a lot of energy not only need enough nutrients from food, they also need enough rest before doing the same activity again. Lack of nutrients and rest may cause body to ‘take’ the energy from the bones causing the athletes bones to become fragile, such like osteoporosis patients bone.

Experience of an Athlete

Zaiton Othman was shocked and could hardly believe when she was diagnosed with osteoporosis after a checkup when she accidentally falls and have a pain sensation at her back.

This athlete was just 30 and was studying at a university in the US. She never thought of that possibility since she’s an athlete who’s exercised regularly and controlled her diet. So of course Zaiton would have thought that her health was at an optimum level. More shocking, doctor also confirmed that her bones aged were 75 year old, double her age then.

Doctor who treats Zaiton explains that her involvement professionally in sports undeniably exposed her to high risk of porous bone or osteoporosis.

According to the doctor, the stated problem use to attack athletes like her and it happens when the body which did not have adequate energy then absorbed the required energy from the bones.

“Sports are undeniably good for bones. But for professional sports members like us which use energy at the optimum level, porous bone would happen if the energy taken from the bone were not replaced back with a complete nutrition,” she expressed more.

Even so, the ex- heptathlon athlete and SEA Games gold medalist are positive with her condition and regard it as not a full stop to her adored field.

Beginning from there, Zaiton no longer looks lightly to nutrition as they are very important to supply the energy needed to be used by her body. She has started practicing high calcium and protein diet especially from dairy product, legume and red meat. Meanwhile, she still exercises because it is one of the ways of looking after the bone health.

Zaiton realize that bone health is very important because without healthy bones, most daily activities are affected. By looking after her nutrition, she has gained back her bone health. And because of her love to the field of sports, she joined several championships and recently won a medal in The World Veterans Championship.

Zaiton, 47, now have been appointed as an ambassador to a famous bone’s nutrition product, Anlene after becoming the product loyal consumer since experiencing the porous bone problem.

As ambassador, she wants to inject the awareness especially among women society over the importance of the care of bone health. It is because women lost a lot of calcium especially when they are pregnant and menopause.

Also as the Director of MSN Athletes Division, Zaiton always reminded the athletes to always care for their nutrient intake since the high risk are awaiting them.

“Many people are unconscious that bone health is very important. Maybe because they think that they are still young and that osteoporosis will only attack those who are old,” she said.

According to her, Malaysians, especially Malay and Chinese take less food from dairy products when they are small and greatly exposed to the problem of osteoporosis.

Campaign

As bone health ambassador, Zaiton are grateful because she has been given the opportunity to join the healthy bone campaign at the international level. She wants her personal experience to become an inspiration to Malaysian women especially, and the world generally, to take move in preventing osteoporosis.

Having the chance to participate in World Osteoporosis Day in Dubai last October, Zaiton together with four other Anlene’s ambassadors from Egypt, Indonesia, Philippines and New Zealand exchanged their view on the bone health level of their countries citizens.

One of the interesting experience that she shares is the attitude of some people which does not like to exercise under the sunlight. “The morning sunlight is actually good to health. It maintains the vitamin D which can help the process of calcium absorption by bones.”

Zaiton also called upon women especially those 30 years up to do their special test to know their bone health level. According to her, the test can be done at private medical centers that have special equipment to scan bones.

Apart from that she said, Anlene’s side will also carry a bone examination campaign for free throughout the country soon and hope that many women will come forward to take the initial examination to prevent osteoporosis.

“In fact, there are no too late to make bone health as a priority.

“I want everyone to come together with me to prevent osteoporosis so we can enjoy life’s freedom while we are still able,” she remarked.

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