Osteoporosis affects approximately 10 million Americans with low bone density affecting 44 million Americans. Poor bone health puts you at a higher risk for a broken bone, even with minor falls or seemingly normal activities.
If you improve bone health now, you can cut your risks of joining those statistics. Strong bones help support your body, keep you protected, and cut down your risk of broken bones. Your diet, habits, and activity level all play a role in your bone health.
Check out these five ways to improve your bone health.
1. Stay Active
Because bone is a living tissue, it responds to things such as exercise. Regular exercise, especially in young adults, can help build bone mass before reaching peak bone growth. In older adults, physical activity can help stop bone loss.
Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, dancing, and stair climbing, are the best for building bone. Weight lifting and other resistance activities also help your bones.
2. Boost Calcium
Since calcium is the main mineral in your bones, it makes sense to bulk up your intake to support your bones. For men up to 70 and women up to 50, the recommended calcium amount is 1,000 mg daily. After those ages, the recommendation jumps to 1,200 mg per day.
Eating food high in calcium is a natural option for improving bone health. Good food options include dairy products, sardines, salmon, calcium-fortified foods, and dark green, leafy veggies. Spread out your calcium consumption throughout the day with calcium-containing foods at each meal.
3. Take Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D can also help with your bone health. One of the main benefits is helping your body better absorb and use the calcium you consume.
You can get vitamin D from spending time in the sun, but if you use sunscreen or don’t get outside much, you could be low on the vitamin. Taking vitamin D tablets can supplement your vitamin D to help improve bone health and support other functions in the body.
4. Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol Consumption
Using tobacco and consuming lots of alcohol can both weaken your bones. If you use tobacco products, start trying to quit now, not only for your bone health, but also your overall health.
Drinking alcohol occasionally shouldn’t be a problem, but drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day for women or two for men can increase your risks of osteoporosis. Limit how often and how much alcohol you consume for optimal bone health.
5. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being in the healthy weight range for your height can improve your bone health. Being underweight can negatively affect your bone health, and eating disorders can also cause bone loss. Too much weight can put added strain on your bones.
Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise are two key components to maintaining a healthy weight. Those actions also help improve your bone health regardless of weight.
Improve Bone Health Now
When you improve bone health, you keep your body stronger and better supported. Simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can strengthen your bones and cut your risks of osteoporosis.
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