Top Tips to Build and Maintain Healthy Bones
Bone health is extremely important for women and should be a focus of health for women starting at an early age. As we age, our bones become thinner and less dense, which poses a risk for injures and fractures. Fractures from falls are very common in older adults, and often lead to lasting injury and dysfunction.
Below lists the best ways to maintain healthy bones:
Eat calcium rich foods
Calcium is an essential nutrient for preventing bone loss and keeping bones strong. Good sources of calcium include full-fat diary products, and fish such as salmon and sardines.
Consider taking a calcium supplement
If you are not getting much calcium in your diet, it might be a good idea to start taking a calcium supplement. Women under 50 should be taking 1,000 mg, while women over 50 are advised to take 1,200 mg.
Note that there has been some controversy over taking calcium supplements because taking too much has been found to be associated with kidney stones and heart problems. So as with any supplement, it is best to consult with your care provider first.
Get enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is another essential component of strong bones and should be taken with calcium because it helps with the absorption of calcium.
The best source of vitamin D is from the sun, but if your vitamin D is low or you don’t get much sun, then consider taking a vitamin D supplement of 2,000 IU per day.
Incorporate resistance training
Resistance training and weight bearing exercises are best types of exercise to build and maintain healthy bones. This doesn’t mean you have to go and lift heavy weights – unless you want to – and just using your body weight is enough.
Smoking tobacco is one of the greatest risk factors for loss of bone mineral density. This is just another good reason to quit smoking if you do smoke.
Don’t get too thin
Women who are most susceptible to weak bones are women who are very thin and are underweight. Try to maintain a BMI of over 19 to prevent increasing your risk for weak bones.
Limit alcohol consumption
Drinking too much alcohol can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb calcium, and can increase your risk for weak bones and osteoporosis. Limit your alcohol intake to one drink a day or less.
Maintaining healthy bone density is extremely important, and is often overlooked until it is too late. Start making changes in your diet and in your life to preserve your bone density and to prevent your risk of injury in the future.
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.
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