As you age, you can lose significant bone mass, putting you at risk of osteoporosis. If you develop this health condition, you are more likely to get fractures in your hips and spine, which can affect your mobility. It is never too early to start taking better care of your bones. Here are five effective ways to keep your bones healthy:
1. Make Sure You're Getting Enough Calcium
Calcium is important for strong bones, so make sure you include it in your diet. Women typically need about 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day and men need about 1,000 milligrams. You can get your calcium from dairy products and leafy green vegetables, like kale and broccoli. If you are not getting enough calcium from food, talk to your doctor about taking supplements.
2. Include Strength Training in Your Exercise Routine
If you want to maintain strong bones for a long time, it is very important to do strength training exercises, like bicep curls, squats and shoulder presses, on a regular basis. Weight training can increase bone mass, reducing your risk of osteoporosis. If you have not worked with weights before, have a personal trainer show you how to weight train properly.
3. Take It Easy on the Caffeine
Drinking too many caffeinated beverages can reduce your body's ability to absorb calcium. To keep your bones strong, drink coffee and other caffeinated beverages only in moderation.
4. Do not Forget About Vitamin D
If your body does not get an adequate amount of vitamin D, it will not be able to absorb as much calcium. Good sources of vitamin D include eggs, liver, salmon and shrimp. You can also get vitamin D from the sun.
5. Quit Smoking
Tobacco seems to affect just about every part of your body, including your bones. If you smoke cigarettes, you can hinder blood flow to your bones, which can impair calcium absorption. Quitting the habit can save your bones and improve your overall health. Quitting smoking on your own can be challenging, so do not hesitate to ask your doctor for advice.
If you take good care of your bones, you will be less likely to develop osteoporosis in the future. However, if you still get diagnosed with health this condition, all hope is not lost. Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, there are medicines available that can improve bone strength and reduce your risk of fractures.