Maintaining Healthy Bones
Don’t neglect your bones! They provide structure to our body, protect our organs, and enable us to move. In most people, peak bone mass is reached by age 30. As you get older, the rate at which bone is made becomes slower than the rate that it is broken down. Therefore, it is important to take action to maintain healthy bones to prevent future problems of osteoporosis and falls.
Steps to maintaining healthy bones:
1. Consuming adequate amounts of calcium.
Calcium rich foods include broccoli, dairy, salmon, and soy products. If there are food allergies or adequate amounts are not achieved through diet, people can consider taking calcium
supplements such as Citracal, Oscal, Caltrate, etc. Typically, calcium supplements are taken with vitamin D because vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium better. Food sources of vitamin D include egg yolk, dairy, oily fish, etc. The recommended daily intake of calcium and vitamin D varies based on age. For your specific requirements, refer to: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Bone_Health/bone_health_for_life.asp.
2. Incorporating exercise
Weight bearing exercise has been shown to build strong bones. Examples of these activities are jogging, tennis, dancing, and climbing stairs. An optimal routine is doing any of the above
activities for 30 minutes daily.
Do consult with a doctor if you have any heart conditions, high blood pressure, or diabetes before initiating these type of activities.
3. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
Limiting drug use, tobacco use, and alcohol intake can prevent further bone loss. These substances affect the way that our body uses the circulating calcium, so avoiding these habits can prevent osteoporosis. Likewise these substances can alter our balance, which can lead to falls and injury to our bones.
It is never too late to start taking care of your bones. Incorporation of all these factors will decrease the chance of developing weak bones. Please consult with your doctor for any
questions and to tailor these steps to your specific medical history.