Bone health is an issue that all age groups should be concerned with. Though it may sound as if bone-related issues like osteoporosis aren’t an immediate threat to your overall health, that isn’t necessarily true. Even people in their teens and 20’s should look into ways to improve bone health because the truth is; sometimes issues arise once it’s too late. Here are ten great ways to make sure your bones stay strong and healthy sourced from experts like the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), WebMD and Time magazine.
1. Include the Right Vitamins in Your Diet
While most people know that Calcium is essential to bone health, less realize that Vitamin D is also necessary for proper absorption. According to an article by Time, “Where there’s calcium, there must be vitamin D: the two work together to help the body absorb bone-boosting calcium.” The NOF echoes that sentiment and offers the following dietary tips:
“1. Try low-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt to add more calcium to your diet.
2. Include green vegetables that have calcium in your recipes. Good choices are broccoli, bok choy, kale and turnip greens.
3. Try foods that have calcium and vitamin D added. Fortified juices, cereals, and milk alternatives like soymilk are some good choices.
4.Take a calcium supplement if you aren’t getting enough calcium from foods, but don’t take more calcium than you need.
5.Take a vitamin D supplement if you need one. Find out how much vitamin D you need for your age.”
In particular, if you’re female and over 50, you will want to pay attention to tip number four. After all, according to WebMD, “Women over age 50 need about 1,200 mg [of Calcium] a day, according to the Institute of Medicine.”
2. Strengthen Your Muscles
You can protect your bones by strengthening your muscles around them. Some great options that the NOF recommends for muscle strengthening are:
- Walking – a very low impact option that is perfect for bone health.
- Resistance Exercises – using small dumbbells and resistance bands is something you can easily do on a regular basis to improve the health of your bones.
- Group Classes – one wonderful way to stay motivated and active is in a group exercise class. All types are available including dancing, aerobics and more!
- Outdoor Adventures – outdoor hiking doesn’t even feel like exercise, but it definitely helps to keep your bones strong.
If you’re unsure as to where to start when it comes to exercise, you can always take a class at the Derry Health and Wellness. Learn more here.
3. Limit Drinking
When you’re young, social drinking can be a prevalent part of life, however, if you want to keep your bones healthy, the NOF recommends that you limit your alcohol intake to three or less drinks per day.
4. Don’t Smoke
There are many reasons to stop smoking and bone health is one of the most important ones. WebMD noted that, “Cigarette smoke generates huge amounts of free radicals — molecules that attack and overwhelm the body’s natural defenses. The result is a chain-reaction of damage throughout the body — including cells, organs, and hormones involved in keeping bones healthy.”
If you need assistance to stop smoking, consider contacting Derry Health and Wellness. We offer smoking cessation classes on a regular basis. Learn more here.
5. Work Towards Prevention
One way to stay ahead of bone damage is by avoiding falls that cause substantial injuries. The NOF suggests doing balance training exercises, a Tai Chi class and posture exercises. They also suggest that you fall proof your house and look into having your vision and hearing checked on a regular basis (yearly).
Optimal bone health is something that you can achieve with daily digiligence. However, if you’d like to talk with someone about your bone health, consider contacting your primary care physician (PCP). If you don’t have a PCP or are looking to switch providers, DMC Primary Care has many incredible options for you to choose from. Learn about them here.
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