Did you know that one of the main causes of fractures in those above the age of sixty-five is osteoporosis? This condition affects women four times as much as men and they are therefore more likely to get fractures. While it is not uncommon to have this condition, there are ways that you can reduce osteoporosis risk. This article will take you through three essential tips that will help you reduce your risk. Let us first take a closer look at osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis develops over many years and is a hot topic of research. Simply, it occurs when the rate of bone breakdown is faster than that of bone growth. Wait a minute, bone breaks down? The answer is a resounding yes! Over the course of normal development, our bodies break down old cells to make way for newer ones. As we age, the breakdown process might become unrestrained while the growth process slows. This leads to bones losing their minerals and density. It affects women more because they typically start out with lower bone density to begin with. The good news, however, is that osteoporosis is preventable. Let’s find out how!
Check Your Diet
You are what you eat. In this case, your bones are what they eat! There are three things to consider about your diet.
- Are you getting at least 1000 mg of calcium per day?
- Is your intake of Vitamin D at least 600 International Units daily?
- Are you consuming at least 2 ounces of protein every day?
Let us take a closer look at each. Calcium is considered to be the building block of our bones. Do remember that more is not always better. Dairy products and green leafy vegetables are good sources of calcium. Do remember to read the nutritional information of the product. You can always make up for the shortfall of calcium using supplements.
Secondly, Vitamin D is the conduit through which calcium is used by our body. Without it, calcium cannot be absorbed. Although the sun is a free and natural source of vitamin D, it is not enough. Fish like salmon and egg yolks are good sources too.
Finally, protein is needed by all our cells, and it helps increase our bone mineral density. You should eat protein that is proportional to your weight as the excess gets converted to fat in the long term.
Exercise Regularly With Weights
It is true that exercise is the best prevention for many diseases. However, the right kind of exercise is important too. Many people focus on aerobic exercises, often at the expense of resistance-based ones. While both are valuable for good physical health, weight-bearing exercises like planks and squats help promote bone health. Muscles and bones come hand in hand so try and focus on toning large muscle groups like your hamstrings, glutes, and back for better balance and mobility. Other lifestyle habits such as limiting your alcohol intake, quitting smoking can reduce your risk of getting osteoporosis.