30x30 Tips: Bone Health and Staying Active

Sep 25, 2019

​​Staying active is good for us inside and out! Even our bones benefit from regular physical activity. Here's some more information on bone health from Dr. Unjali Mahorta from the FNHA's Office of the Chief Medical Officer.

Why do we talk about bones?

With age and with certain medical conditions we can lose bone tissue and that can lead to an increased risk of a break or fracture. A person may not know that they are losing bone until they break one as there are often no symptoms. The most common bones to fracture are hip, spine, wrist and shoulder. There is no one cause of bone loss – and although it affects people over 50 years most commonly, it can happen at any age. It affects both men and women.  It is estimated that two million Canadians have osteoporosis (bone loss that increases the risk of fracture).

How common is osteoporosis?

One in three women and one in five men in Canada will break a bone due to osteoporosis during their lifetime.

Why is a fracture something I need to think about?

Once a fracture occurs it can affect one's mobility, quality of life, confidence, body appearance and – in  some cases – even cause death (28% of women and 37% of men who fracture a hip will die the following year).

To maintain heathy bones and to prevent bone loss we need strong muscles (to avoid falls), strong bones (avoiding bone loss when possible, protecting our bones from fractures) and good balance (avoid falls).

Things that can strengthen muscles are:

• Weight training or bands (legs, arms, chest, shoulders, back) at least twice a week

• ​Other exercises that require you to work against gravity, such as swimming and biking

• Good nutrition: keeping a diet rich in calcium-rich foods and vitamin D; quitting or decreasing the use of alcohol and commercial tobacco

Things that can also decrease falls include daily balancing exercises like dancing, yoga, and climbing stairs.

Some things to strengthen bones (spine and back) that can be done daily include being aware of your posture and weight-bearing activities such as climbing stairs.

Actions that strengthen muscles and improve balance are 150 minutes per week of physical activity: 

• ​Moderate to higher intensity workouts (increasing your heart rate to where you can talk but not sing)

• Tennis, dancing, swimming, bicycling

For more information on risk and diagnosis please see: https://osteoporosis.ca/about-the-disease/diagnosis/

For more information and examples of activities to improve bone health:


30x30 Reminder – Active Hour Sept. 29

Mark your calendars for Sept. 29 between 10 – 11 a.m. for the Active Hour! That's when we will get together with family, friends or community members for a group walk/run or other physical activity.

During the Active Hour, Dr. Evan Adams, the Chief Medical Officer of the FNHA, will be at the Rainforest Trail Run in Burnaby. You can still register and join Evan and his team for this inaugural five-kilometer run that is celebrating the health and vibrancy of Indigenous Cultures of BC. For those who can't be at the Rainforest Trail Run, Dr. Evan Adams will be connecting with everyone through a Facebook Live event that will be shared from both his and the FNHA's Facebook accounts starting Sunday at 10 a.m.

30x30 Reminder – Prize Draw

For your next chance to win a $150 gift card to Sport Chek, post a photo, video or post sharing your small victories, positive changes and healthy habits. ​We want to hear and share the amazing work everyone has been doing in September. The draw deadline is Sept. 30 at noon. Use the hashtags: #30x30ActiveChallengeFNHA, #BeActiveFNHA, and #FNHAwellness or email Active@fnha.ca.

Congratulations to Jay-Lee Vipond from Kispiox who won the previous draw for sharing her first hockey practice photo. The theme of that draw was “do activities with others."


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