Like it or not, loss of bone mass is a natural part of aging. So what can we do to keep our bones, the very support for and what forms the overall structure of our body, as healthy and strong as possible?
Health care today is not what it was 20, 30 or 50 years ago. If we had a physical problem, we went to the doctor and usually there was a remedy. Now, people are becoming much more personally involved in their health and we approach it from an attitude of: “How can I prevent disease and discomfort and maintain and preserve my health?”
There is a lot you can do (starting in your 20s) to keep your bones strong and healthy and to prevent osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak and brittle; bone fractures and breaks are one of the leading causes of disability in older adults.
Here are some tips that will help you maintain and preserve the health of your bones:
- Make sure you are taking as a supplement or consuming at least 700 mg of calcium per day, coupled with Vitamin D which you can also either take orally or get by spending about 15 minutes in the sun two to three times a week.
- Exercise regularly and keep your weight down. Weight-bearing exercise (walking, playing tennis, dancing, running, climbing stairs) is the best.
- Stop smoking – it can prevent your body from absorbing calcium, which will cause a loss in bone mass.
- Drink sensibly. Cut back, especially on both caffeine and alcohol.
- Don’t overdo your protein intake – make sure your diet is a healthy balance of meat, nuts, vegetables, fruit and carbs.
- Cut back on your salt intake and watch for added salt in prepared foods. Ideally, you should be consuming no more than about a teaspoon of salt a day. Try substituting flavorful herbs instead to season your food.
- Consider adding potassium and Vitamin K to your daily regime. Explore current research on the potential benefits of these supplements.
Becoming proactive and educating yourself about health issues is important. Make a commitment to yourself that you will take care of your body – it will be thankful that you did. You’re worth it!
Written by: Deborah Dobson, FizzNiche Staff Writer