No, this isn’t referring to increasing the number of the scale. One of the most critical ways to build bone health is through exercise. Specifically, weightbearing exercise is the best way to build bone strength and slow down bone loss. Research has found that participating in weightbearing exercise decreases inflammation and bone loss in older adults. Pick up weights in the gym, use resistance bands, walk, hike, or go to Pilates classes. Any form of weightbearing exercise will increase bone health.
Pick the right nutrients
The tenets of nutrition for better bones are calcium and vitamin D. No matter a person’s age, getting enough of these two nutrients is one of the first steps to better bones. Calcium helps increase bone strength and vitamin D increases calcium absorption. Eat more leafy greens, dairy products, and fish to get a boost of both nutrients. People can also get vitamin D naturally through sunlight exposure. Check with a healthcare provider to find out if supplementation is the right step.
Cut back on your indulgences
Bad habits like consuming too much alcohol, caffeine, or sodium can damage bone health. And most people know that smoking wreaks havoc on nearly every part of a person’s body. Studies have shown that kicking bad habits to the curb specifically increases bone health. According to one study, women who had more than 2 cups of coffee a day had higher rates of bone breakdown. Quitting these habits can benefit cardiovascular health, mental health, and bone health.
Know your personal risks
For women who don’t have an osteoporosis diagnosis yet, knowing personal risk factors is a crucial part of a prevention plan. Experts have found that nearly 1 in 5 osteoporosis cases has a genetic factor. Women who are known to be high risk should work with a healthcare provider on a bone health action plan now.
Building bone health for the future
When talking about bone health, the earlier the better. Still, making changes now can increase health and wellness. For more information about managing an osteoporosis diagnosis, speak with a healthcare provider.