Improving Bone Health As You Age

Improving Bone Health As You Age

Bone health may not be at the top of your medical to do list, but it should be. An orthopedic surgeon at the Hoag Orthopedic Institute in California recently found that 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men will experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis, and that women can lose up to 20% of their bone mass in the first 5 years after menopause.

In previous decades, the common treatment or prevention for bone loss was medication. However, with all this new research coming out about the importance of bone health, it makes sense that doctors and experts are also sharing new advice for keeping thinning bones healthy and rebuilding bone mass. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • High Intensity Lifting – While it may seem counterintuitive that lifting heavy weights helps with bone health, it really does. A recent study as the Bone Clinic in Brisbane, Australia found that high-intensity weight training and jumping exercises increased patient’s bone-mineral density by 3% over the 8 month study, compared with a loss of 1.2% in those that did low-intensity workouts. Experts believe that this intense exercise encourages the body to rebuild bones. Try to incorporate full-body weight-bearing exercises into your workout routine. Squats, dead lifts, lunges and shoulder presses are all great options. Use videos like this one for inspiration.
  • Get Your Vitamins – Calcium and vitamin D care crucial for bone health. Since most American woman get less than the needed amount of calcium in their diets, doctors recommend boosting calcium and vitamin D intake by eating calcium-rich foods like low fat or soy milk, canned salmon, and spinach, and taking daily calcium and vitamin D supplements. Learn more about calcium supplements on trusted sites like WebMD.
  • Get Some Sunshine – An effective and fun way to boost your vitamin C intake is to spend more time in the sun. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, so you need to get your vitamin D in daily. Make it a priority to spend a few minutes outside in the sunshine every day. Take a walk on your lunch break, or head out of work 5 minutes early before the sun sets.
  • Quit Smoking – Nicotine is one of the worst things for bones. If you don’t stop smoking, there really isn’t any point in trying any other method to keep your bones healthy. The American Lung Association and gov have lots of tools to help you kick your habit.
  • Drink Less – You don’t have to give up alcohol completely, but it’s important to be aware that alcohol in excess can cause 2% bone loss in just one year. Limit your intake to 1 or 2 drinks a week.
  • Work With Your Doctor – Bone density loss is different for every single person, so it’s vital that you talk to and work with your doctor to come up with a bone health plan that’s best for you and your bones. At your next doctor’s visit, have an honest conversation about what you can do to improve your bone health, and don’t stop there. Keep checking in about medication, side effects, and any other tips from this list.

What do you do to keep your bones strong? Share below! Check out our other articles for similar topics and more tips.

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