Bone loss occurs gradually over the years as the holes and spaces in the bone grow larger, resulting in decreased density and mass. This deterioration usually starts between the ages of 30 and 35, however, here are seven lifestyle tips you can implement now to promote good bone health.
- Eat Calcium-Rich Foods
Calcium deficiency is proven to diminish bone density, contribute to early bone loss and increase one’s risk of fractures. Make sure you are consuming the recommended amount of calcium through nutrient-dense sources like milk, cheese and yogurt. There are also many non-dairy sources including leafy greens, seafood, or fortified alternatives like Lactaid, soy, almond or rice milk.
2. Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium in foods. Fortunately, it can be food not only through the foods you eat but also through adequate sunlight and supplements. Even just 8-15 minutes of exposure to sunlight is enough to produce an adequate amount of vitamin D for most individuals. If you’ll be in sunlight any longer than that, don’t forget to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
3. Focus on Balance
Calcium and vitamin D are certainly important to bone health, but it’s important to eat a balanced diet to ensure you are getting enough of the other essential vitamins and nutrients. Protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, magnesium and zinc are all also important for bone health.
4. Stay Active
While you may be inclined to think physical activity puts your bones at risk for injury, the truth is that staying active is essential to good bone health. Aim to be active for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week (or 150 minutes each week). Be sure to include a mix of weight-bearing exercise, resistance activities and stretching exercises.
5. Limit Caffeine Consumption
Overconsumption of caffeine is widely known to contribute to difficulty sleeping, nervousness and stomach irritation, but did you know it can also decrease the amount of calcium you absorb? Adults should consume no more than 400mg of caffeine per day, which is roughly 2-3 cups of coffee, but keep in mind many foods and other beverages also contain caffeine.
6. Kick Bad Habits
It’s no secret that excessive alcohol consumption and smoking have many adverse effects on your health. Both also contribute to bone loss and increase the risk of bone fractures. If you drink, do so in moderation, but you should quit smoking and tobacco use entirely.
7. Don’t Skip Your Annual Exam
When it comes to your health, prevention and early detection are key. Your annual exam is a great time to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have about your bone health or risk factors for osteoporosis. He or she may recommend a bone density test to evaluate your bone density and determine your rate of bone loss. Your doctor can also offer guidance to make sure you are getting adequate amounts of essential vitamins and minerals.
For More Information
If you are suffering from osteoporosis, call (903) 737-0000 to schedule an appointment with the Paris Orthopedic Bone Health Clinic today. Our experts are committed to providing diagnosis, treatment and education for the primary and secondary prevention of osteoporosis.