In honor of National Osteoporosis Prevention Month, here are three things you can do to help keep your bones healthy. Why is keeping your bones healthy so important? According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, half of all women and a quarter of all men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. And bones typically don’t heal as quickly or as well in older people as they do in children.
1. Eat a Diet Rich In Calcium and Vitamin D
Eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is key for building and maintaining healthy bones. The National Osteoporosis Foundation advises that adults between 19 and 50 get 1,000 milligrams of calcium and between 400 and 800 international units of vitamin D daily, and adults 50 and older get 1,200 milligrams of calcium and between 800 and 1,000 international units of vitamin D daily.
Wondering just what to eat? Good sources of calcium include low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese; tofu; broccoli, spinach and kale; almonds; and calcium-fortified juices, breads and cereals. If you don’t believe you get enough calcium and vitamin D from your diet, seek your doctor’s advice on taking a supplement.
2. Exercise Regularly
It’s important to do both strength-training and weight-bearing exercises to foster bone health. Try walking or running, using a stair climber machine and lifting weights. While activities such as bicycling and lap swimming may boost overall health, they don’t force the bones in your legs, hips and lower spine to bear your weight.
3. Say No to Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, which is defined as more than two drinks a day, have been linked to poor bone health.
For more information about osteoporosis or to make an appointment with a doctor, simply call Oak Hill Hospital’s Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5120.