People with osteoporosis talk about the role of diet and exercise in managing their condition.
Annie: Information on diet was really important because if I could help my system improve with diet that was one of the very obvious things that I could do, that I could manage, that I could contribute to.

Beryl: I've never been fond of dairy products, particularly milk, but you know, I've come to terms with that sort of thing. And I was glad there was something that I could do about it because at least you felt that you had control over the situation. Rather than, you know, it was beyond help. It was not beyond help!

Graham: Well I'm having a lot more calcium based food and mainly cheeses and yoghurts, and that's not really hard because there's such a wide variety of food available these days.

Kath and Eddie: He wanted me to take a glass of milk every day from now on until you know, I saw my own doctor again. Which I've done. And that's all I'm doing at the moment. *also taking vitamin d.* yes but my vitamin d was very low. And I'm taking the vitamin d tablet now at the moment plus the milk.

Graham: Well I do actually sort of try and record my diet each day in a rough fashion at the end of each time after a meal I just tick of what I've had so that at the end of the day I can see what I've been, how much calcium I've really have had. And I'm just doing that so that when I have my next bone density test I can sort of say well I was having that much calcium and doing this and that. That might be sufficient to keep me at that point.

Annie: Because of other health issues I have to be very careful with my diet and very conscious of what I'm eating. That has certainly helped in the osteoporosis treatment. And then exercise itself, so, specific type of exercise for osteoporosis

Graham: The exercise was something I discussed with the physio I attend for another health problem after a discussion with him it was agreed that he would teach me the sort of exercises I could do.

Annie: A lot of walking a lot of weight bearing and I particularly do quite a bit of weight bearing when walking up and down stairs. And then, I'm incapable of doing some types of exercise which is jumping and that sort of thing because my bone structure just couldn't tolerate it so I have to focus on the other, more passive types of exercise that I can manage.

Graham: Each day I spend about 45 minutes doing a brisk walk and then it takes probably another 45 mins doing the various exercises which are mainly with weights and that's really because I don't rush myself and between some of the exercises I have a rest. So I try to build that into my day, now there are obviously days where other things happen and I can't do it, but I try to get at least at least the walk in or the exercises if I can't do both.

Iona: I do weights, not in a gym or anything, I just have dumbbells at home and I do those and I've got ankle weights. And about two or three times a week I'll do 15 - 20 minutes, sometimes half an hour if I'm really feeling, you know, able to do it. And I walk as I said. And do a little bit of gardening.

Alan & Margaret: We do a bit of walking although we haven't done so much just lately. In the last two or three years we've been regularly going out on regular walks. But mobility is a little bit slowed down now so she can't walk at the normal, what you might call a normal rate.

Alan & Margaret: But it's a lovely feeling that I can do these things and I've joined a community health exercise group on Mondays and Thursdays, and then I had the opportunity to join tai chi classes which is particularly for osteoporosis.

Beryl: It's a good gentle form of exercise tai chi, you can't do yourself much harm during that, where as some forms of exercises are a bit strenuous, particularly if you're twisting or anything like that, but tai chi is a gentle form of exercise, and its weight baring because you're on your feet.

Alan & Margaret: It's a completely different thing tai chi, it's so smooth and relaxing, you know, just sort of *gestures* like that.

Kath and Eddie: It's surprising what tai chi does to your body; it's a very, very great thing, and your balance. Everything, but mostly your balance, and things like that. As long as it's done properly, and it's done specially, with a special teacher

Alan & Margaret: The teacher I have is absolutely marvellous. And if you don't understand anything, she's there for you, and she says don't worry if you can't do it, it'll come to you. And it's just a beautiful, I can't describe it, it's just something, it's so relaxing.

Kath and Eddie: That's a good thing too, if you can learn to relax. And I do have a lot of, what do you call them, relaxation tapes, not tapes but videos and things like that, *compact discs* compact discs, and when I feel really bad if can just put one of those on and relax, it does help. All that sort of things does. And even meditation if you can do meditation. That can help as well.

Alan & Margaret: I think meditation or relaxation is one of the marvellous things, people can learn to breath properly. Just take a nice big deep breath and just let it all go and relax, and that does help you, mentally and physically I think.

Alan & Margaret: We do a bit of walking although we haven't done so much just lately. In the last two or three years we've been regularly going out on regular walks. But mobility is a little bit slowed down now so she can't walk at the normal, what you might call a normal rate.

Alan & Margaret: But it's a lovely feeling that I can do these things and I've joined a community health exercise group on Mondays and Thursdays, and then I had the opportunity to join tai chi classes which is particularly for osteoporosis.

Beryl: It's a good gentle form of exercise tai chi, you can't do yourself much harm during that, where as some forms of exercises are a bit strenuous, particularly if you're twisting or anything like that, but tai chi is a gentle form of exercise, and its weight baring because you're on your feet.

Alan & Margaret: It's a completely different thing tai chi, it's so smooth and relaxing, you know, just sort of *gestures* like that.

Kath and Eddie: It's surprising what tai chi does to your body; it's a very, very great thing, and your balance. Everything, but mostly your balance, and things like that. As long as it's done properly, and it's done specially, with a special teacher

Alan & Margaret: The teacher I have is absolutely marvellous. And if you don't understand anything, she's there for you, and she says don't worry if you can't do it, it'll come to you. And it's just a beautiful, I can't describe it, it's just something, it's so relaxing.

Kath and Eddie: That's a good thing too, if you can learn to relax. And I do have a lot of, what do you call them, relaxation tapes, not tapes but videos and things like that, *compact discs* compact discs, and when I feel really bad if can just put one of those on and relax, it does help. All that sort of things does. And even meditation if you can do meditation. That can help as well.

Alan & Margaret: I think meditation or relaxation is one of the marvellous things, people can learn to breath properly. Just take a nice big deep breath and just let it all go and relax, and that does help you, mentally and physically I think.

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: RealTime Health and Arthritis Victoria

Last updated: October 2015

Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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