How to Prevent Osteoporosis
Are you concerned about your bone health? Strong bones are essential to keep us strong and healthy. Weakened bones may cause fractures and other injuries, so it is good to know about osteoporosis prevention, as this is a health condition that can make daily tasks harder to perform.
As we age, we naturally lose bone density and we are at a greater risk for osteoporosis. You cannot control certain factors like genes, gender and age that put you at risk for bone density loss, but you can control other factors, like lifestyle and eating habits.
You can change a few simple things in your daily habits and activities if you want to help prevent or delay osteoporosis. This is especially important if there is a history of the condition in your family and if you are a woman over 50.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Bones regenerate themselves naturally over the course of our lives. The process of bone building is more effective when we are young. When we are younger, we make more bone mass than we lose and that is how we grow to become adults. This tendency stabilizes and then reverts when we reach our 30s. This is when we start to lose more bone mass than we can produce.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, “About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.”
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
You may have osteoporosis and not even know it. At first, it is a mostly painless and symptomless condition. Many cases are diagnosed following a fracture. If you are over 50 and have broken a bone, your doctor may become concerned about your bone health and they may order a bone density test.
Some signs of osteoporosis may include:
- Brittle nails
- Receding gums
- Back or neck pain
- Loss of height or hunched posture
There is no single treatment for osteoporosis. Most health care practitioners suggest some lifestyle changes, like eating healthier and getting more exercise for people who have been diagnosed or who are at risk for osteoporosis. Some medications and increased vitamin and mineral intake can also help with bone health.
How to Prevent Osteoporosis
We know that living a healthy lifestyle can keep our bodies strong. Muscles, bones, joints and other parts that structure our bodies are especially important to keep us healthy, but can you prevent osteoporosis?
In certain circumstances, you may not be able to prevent it entirely. What you can do is help your bones stay healthy and strong as you age. It’s never too late to start and all it takes are a few lifestyle changes, like the ones listed below.
Avoid Trigger Foods and Beverages
Some things you consume can be linked to bone loss. You can help keep your bones healthy by diminishing or stopping your consumption of certain things.
Some of these things are:
- Soda and carbonated drinks
Add some Supplements
Supplements are a great way to help your body maintain bone health and bone growth as you age. Here are a couple you should look into if you are at risk of osteoporosis or have already been diagnosed.
Calcium is essential to keep your bones healthy. Women over 50 should be taking 1200 milligrams of calcium per day. You can add calcium supplements if you suspect that you are not getting enough through your food. Make sure to talk to your doctor about whether they think you need calcium supplements.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. You should think about adding a supplement if you are not getting enough through your diet or if you do not get enough daily exposure to the sun. Again, make sure to talk to your doctor before adding this into your diet, so they can make sure it is the right choice for you.
Last but not least, get moving! This is one of the most important things you can do to keep your bones healthy. Some workouts are better for your bones. These workouts include resistance training and weight-bearing exercises. Weight-bearing exercises are exercises where your legs and feet support your weight while you work out.
Some weight-bearing exercises include:
Other exercises like water workouts are good for staying fit and helping your bones stay strong. Remember, try not to put extra stress on your body and listen to its limitations. Talk to a trainer who can help adapt a workout routine suited to your age, lifestyle and capabilities.
Healthy Body, Happy Life
Keep your bones healthy, stay strong to remain active and continue to do the things you enjoy. Take extra precautions if you have osteoporosis in your family history by eating healthy and staying fit.
Above all else, if you believe you may be at risk for osteoporosis, make sure you talk to your doctor so you can get a proper diagnosis and get a treatment plan in place.