According to research by the Arthritis Foundation, one out of every two women aged 50 years and older will suffer a broken bone due to osteoporosis. This is a bone disease that results from the body losing too much bone, producing too much bone, or both. As a result, bones become fragile and brittle, and can break from a slip or fall — or in some advanced cases, even due to a relatively minor bump or sneezing.
Naturally, your goal is to ensure that your bones remain strong and support your active lifestyle for decades to come. According to the doctors at Orthopedic Associates, here are five proven and practical tips for keeping your bones healthy now, and well into the future:
- Cut down on alcoholic beverages.
Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage per day can weaken bone density, and therefore increase the risk of osteoporosis. What’s more, it’s well known that alcohol can impair balance and depth perception, which can lead to falls – and hence, broken bones.
- Add calcium to your diet.
Calcium deficiency is a leading cause of osteoporosis, and so it’s important to make sure that you’re getting enough through diet or supplements. And while it’s indeed true that “milk does a body good,” if you’re lactose intolerant or simply don’t like the taste of milk, then there are many non-dairy sources you can choose such as white beans, kale, broccoli, okra and almonds.
- Get some Vitamin D
Without enough Vitamin D, calcium can’t adequately be absorbed into your bones. If it’s safe, practical and enjoyable for you to do so, put on some sunscreen and enjoy some sun to load up on Vitamin D. You can also eat foods that are fortified with Vitamin D, such as orange juice, cereals, soy milk, and some dairy products. Fatty fish, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks are also good sources.
- Regularly exercise.
With the advice and approval of your doctor, regularly exercise to strengthen your bone health. Don’t worry if you aren’t a “gym rat” – you don’t have to train for a triathlon. A brisk walk, gentle aerobics, and even dancing can help get your heart pumping and your bones working. And as a bonus, you’ll be a role model for your kids who may be inspired to put down their beloved devices, and join you for a fun family workout.
- Butt out.
If there weren’t enough reasons for you to quit smoking, then add “increased risk of osteoporosis” to the very long list. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been smoking for a few years or several decades. It’s never too late to quit, and it’s always the right move for your health. If you need help, speak with your doctor who give you practical advice and medical support to help you butt out once and for all. Your body (and your budget!) will thank you.