If your last trip to the doctor’s office revealed you’ve got thinning bones, it’s essential to take steps to slow the process down. Weakening and thinning bones can quickly turn into osteoporosis, a debilitating and potentially dangerous condition.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease resulting from the loss of too much bone. It can impair mobility, balance, and boost the risk of fractures from minor bumps. It is far more likely to occur in women than men, with the risk increasing after menopause.
There are some basic things you can do to slow bone loss and promote bone construction, regardless of your age. Even if you have strong and healthy bones, these tips can reduce the risk for future bone loss.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
Diet plays a major role in bone strength. And although several nutrients are required for optimal overall and bone health, calcium and vitamin D are paramount. Bone is mostly made of calcium and you need about 1,200 mg per day to replace what’s naturally lost.
You can find calcium in milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, salmon, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, fortified orange juice, and supplements.
Vitamin D is required to absorb calcium. Therefore, getting 400-600 international units (IU) is essential to bone health. Vitamin D is available in mushrooms, salmon, eggs, fortified foods, and sun exposure. Supplementation is often recommended too.
Your bones need a reason to strengthen and rebuild. Putting them under stress provides that reason—or motivation—to kickstart and continue the process. Regular and consistent load-bearing exercise like walking, jogging, or weight training helps to stimulate bone growth and strength.
Limit Alcohol Intake and Don’t Smoke
Nicotine is flat-out toxic to bones. If you smoke, many of your efforts towards bone health may be futile.
Alcohol, on the other hand, can be safe if consumption is light. Having one or two drinks per week is safe, but excess consumption can stimulate bone health.
You’ll be in the best shape if you abstain, but the occasional drink is unlikely to stimulate further bone loss.
Rebuilding bone density is possible with the right decisions and attitude. If osteoporosis is a concern for you, try these suggestions to build and maintain strong bones.