Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them more prone to breaking. It affects an estimated 54 million people in the U.S.
Risk factors like age, gender and race can all be increased by unhealthy lifestyle choices. You can reduce your risks by making healthy lifestyle decisions.
Eat a Healthy Diet
To reduce your risk of osteoporosis, it is essential to make healthy lifestyle choices that will help build strong bones. These include eating a nutritious diet, getting enough calcium and vitamin D from food sources, as well as exercising regularly.
A balanced diet should contain nutrient-rich foods in moderation. It should also be low in saturated fats and include plenty of unsaturated fats such as polyunsaturated (omega-3 fatty acids). Limit intake of high sugar/salt and calorie-containing items like candy, ice cream or soda.
Make sure you get enough protein every day for optimal bone health. Consider eating sources such as meat, fish, poultry without skin, eggs and nuts – the amount needed depends on your age and weight.
Your diet should also include plenty of fruits and vegetables, particularly dark green, red and orange vegetables. Vegetables are packed with minerals like potassium, magnesium and vitamin K which aid in the formation of bone tissue.
If you are at risk for osteoporosis, your doctor may suggest taking supplements to increase your intake of these essential nutrients. A supplement with high levels of calcium or vitamin D, either together or separately, can help increase bone density and decrease fracture risk.
Additionally, a diet low in fat and providing sufficient amounts of vitamin D can help slow or stop osteoporosis from progressing. A nutritious meal should also contain plenty of fiber, protein, and potassium for maximum benefit.
Regular check ups with your healthcare provider are important for monitoring progress and avoiding osteoporosis. They may order a test that measures bone mineral density, which can detect early signs of the condition.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercising regularly not only helps lower the risk of osteoporosis, but it can also make you feel healthier overall. Exercising increases bone density, strengthens muscles, improves balance and prevents falls; plus it boosts confidence during everyday activities.
Physical activity is beneficial for people of all ages and can assist with health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and osteoporosis (11, 12). It helps you maintain a healthy weight which in turn keeps bones strong; additionally it can manage pain and improve moods.
Exercise regularly by joining a gym or going for walks/cycles with your partner. If you can’t make it there, start doing simple at-home exercises that target all major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, abdomen and arms.
Resistance training is another effective form of exercise, building muscle strength and increasing bone density. Resistance training also helps protect your bones from fractures by making you more flexible and decreasing the likelihood of falling.
To reduce your risk of osteoporosis, the best way to do so is through a balanced diet and regular exercise. A nutritious meal should include plenty of protein, calcium and vitamin D; additionally, getting plenty of sunshine helps absorb these essential vitamins into your body as it aids absorption of calcium and vitamin D.
If you have osteoporosis, consult with your doctor about safe ways to exercise and what activities are suitable for you. They may suggest weight-bearing exercises like walking, dancing or running as well as muscle strengthening activities like lifting weights.
Get Enough Calcium
Maintaining adequate calcium and vitamin D levels are essential for reducing your risk of osteoporosis. These essential vitamins help keep bones strong, thus decreasing the likelihood of developing this degenerative bone disease (osteoporosis).
Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are the primary sources of calcium in the diet. Furthermore, these are excellent sources of vitamin D which aids in absorption and utilization of calcium by the body.
If you don’t drink enough milk or eat many dairy foods, calcium can still be obtained through other sources such as fortified breakfast cereals, juices and soy drinks. Foods with added calcium usually have a label indicating their contents.
You can get calcium from dark green vegetables such as broccoli and kale. Some of these veggies have been fortified with calcium to enhance absorption by the body, and others just contain high amounts of it.
To ensure you and your family get enough calcium, consult with your healthcare provider about a nutritious diet.
As a general guideline, aim for at least three servings of fruit or vegetables daily. However, some people require more than this – consult your doctor about your individual needs.
In addition to food sources of calcium, you can also take supplements. These come in various forms such as calcium carbonate (e.g., Tums or Oscal), calcium citrate and calcium phosphate.
All types of calcium supplements should be taken in small doses, such as 500 mg or less, with food. Taking large amounts or taking them without food may lead to gas, bloating and bowel issues; thus it’s wise to take your calcium at various times throughout the day.
Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D intake is one of the most critical elements in reducing your risk for osteoporosis. This essential nutrient aids calcium absorption and protects bones against loss or fracture.
Vitamin D is produced within the body in response to exposure to sunlight. It may also be obtained through dietary sources, such as dairy products, fortified foods and supplements.
To ensure sufficient vitamin D intake, it’s best to incorporate a balanced diet that includes various food groups into your meals. Eating this way ensures your body gets all of the necessary nutrients it needs for strong bones and reduces your risk for osteoporosis.
If you have a vitamin D deficiency, speak to your doctor about ways to increase your intake. They may suggest taking a supplement as an effective way to boost levels and ensure they remain stable.
Vitamin D deficiencies can lead to rickets (thin, soft bones) in children and osteomalacia (weak or misshapen bones) in adults. Both conditions carry an increased risk of osteoporosis later in life.
Your doctor can recommend a vitamin D supplement with the recommended daily amounts of 800 international units (IU) for people over 50 and 600 IU for those under age 70. However, those with conditions like celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases or other health issues that make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients from food may require higher dosages of this important nutrient.
Combining healthy lifestyle choices can significantly lower your risk for osteoporosis and help you live a longer, healthier life. If you are worried about your bone health, visit one of the local doctors in Bannockburn, Morton Grove or Lincolnwood to learn more about how osteoporosis may impact your life.
Maintaining a nutritious diet, regular exercise and getting enough calcium and vitamin D are important for strengthening your bones. But one more key habit that can reduce the risk of osteoporosis: quitting smoking.
Smoking is an addiction that can lead to numerous health complications. The toxins found in cigarettes affect the skin, lungs, throat, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, heart and blood vessels as well as many other organs.
Smoking inhibits the normal flow of oxygen-rich blood to your bones, aiding in their repair. Furthermore, smoking increases your risk for developing serious inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
Although you cannot completely avoid smoking, there are ways to minimize its damaging effects on your bones. The most effective way to do this is by giving up smoking altogether.
There are several steps you can take to successfully quit smoking, such as creating a plan and sticking with it. While it may take some effort at first, the benefits in the long run will be worth all the effort in the end.
Your healthcare provider can order a bone density test to assess your risk for fractures. This X-ray evaluates your bones for bone mineral density (BMD).
By taking this test, your doctor and you can determine if you have an increased likelihood of developing osteoporosis. If so, they can suggest ways to reduce those risks.
If you have been a smoker for some time, your risk of osteoporosis is much greater than nonsmokers. Your doctor can provide medications to help you quit smoking and lower the likelihood of developing this bone disease.