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Keeping up on Bone Health: How to Avoid Osteoporosis

Women at higher risk

No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to start taking measures to ensure you have healthy bones. In fact, the earlier the better, when it comes to being aware about the importance of your bone health and doing what you can to build your bone density to avoid osteoporosis. Although issues do not typically develop until later in life, women are more prone to have bone density issues than men due to the change of hormones during menopause. Focusing on your bone health now can prevent serious issues later.

A crippling disease

What is osteoporosis and why should you be concerned? Osteoporosis occurs when our bone density decreases as we age due to calcium loss in the bones. Although this is a normal part of growing older, each woman is different and those with lower bone mass can see a more rapid loss and are more susceptible to developing osteoporosis. It is a crippling disease, because it makes your bones brittle which causes fractures, and while it is not life threatening, it can be very painful.

Preventative measures are key

The good news is that there are simple ways we can help to prevent osteoporosis, such as diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes that can have a huge effect on the development of the condition. The key is to start taking preventative measures now. Women should begin to think about building their bone density as early as the teenage years, because the older we get, the more difficult it is to build our bone density.

Bad habits increase risk

First and foremost, your lifestyle and habits play a big role in the development of osteoporosis. Habits such as smoking and drinking can potentially increase your risk of osteoporosis. In addition, drinking soda on a regular basis can be hurtful as well. Replacing your favorite carbonated beverage with calcium enriched milk is a good way to reduce your risk factor. Also be careful not to take excess amounts of vitamin A, as this can cause bone density loss if taken in too high of a dose. Limit your Vitamin A intake to less than 5000 IU per day for best results.

Vitamins can help

Some good habits to develop to avoid osteoporosis include taking a good variety of vitamins. Calcium and vitamin D are excellent choices to fight the condition. Women between the ages of 9 and 18 should take 1300mg of calcium each day; women over the age of 18 should aim to take 1000mg per day, and those that are in the menopause stage should take least 1200mg daily. In addition, vitamin D should be taken in doses of at least 1000 IU daily, which is essential for maintaining the calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. Having a vitamin D deficiency can actually cause calcium to be pulled from the bones and be very detrimental.

Add calcium to your diet

Also be sure to eat a diet rich in dairy products, green vegetables, and juices, as they are great sources of calcium. Your diet should be a healthy one that includes as many vitamins as possible such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and copper; as well as the essential C and K vitamins that play a huge role in your bone health. If you have a hard time eating a well balanced diet, try taking a vitamin supplement to make sure you get everything you need for healthy bones.

Get up, get out, and exercise!

Get regular daily exercise performing activities that allow your bones and muscles to work against gravity. Walking, jogging, and even jumping rope are excellent choices. Set a goal to get in at least 30 minutes each day for optimal bone health.

Taking care of your bones in your early years is a good way to ensure a much healthier and active lifestyle as you get older. These simple steps can help stop the development of osteoporosis and keep you feeling marvelous at any age!

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