7 Things You Can Do to Improve Bone Health

7 things you can do to improve bone health

As we age our bone density decreases, putting men and women at risk for diseases like osteoporosis.  Bone density is the amount of minerals found in the bones that gives them density and support. Low bone density can lead to brittle bones that break easily.  Whether you are young or an older person, there are many things you can do to improve your overall bone health.

1. Add Calcium to Your Diet

Eat foods that are rich in calcium. Fish like salmon, sardines and green leafy spinach, broccoli and collard greens. Consuming milk, cheese and yogurt boosts calcium consumption.  Surprisingly, dried figs, molasses, almonds, oranges, and instant oatmeal are all great sources of calcium.  Check with your doctor first, but taking a calcium supplement often helps young and older men and women.  Supplement doses range from 500 to 1,500 mg.

2. Add Vitamin D To Your Daily Regime

You need Vitamin D to absorb calcium. Taking 1,000 to 2,000 IU’s of Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium.  Another way is to sit in direct sunlight when you can. This is the natural way to get Vitamin D.  Supplements are the best way to meet your daily needs.

3. Try Weight Bearing Exercise

Do exercise that builds strength like climbing stairs, dancing, running, jogging, aerobics, tennis, jumping rope and basketball.  If you have low bone density or are elderly, try walking or using elliptical exercise machines.

4. Drink Less Coffee Daily

The caffeine in coffee interferes with how our body absorbs calcium.  Drinking more than two cups per day can quicken bone loss. So to promote healthy bones drink coffee, but in moderation.  It interferes with Vitamin D and other vitamins needed to absorb calcium.

5. Cut Down on Alcohol Consumption

You don’t have to give up alcohol completely.  For women 1 glass per day and men two is the key. Alcohol often interferes with calcium absorption, leading to bone loss in men and women.  Cheers.

6. Get a Bone Density Test

Your doctor can have you take a bone density test using an X-ray test called DXA.  It measures bone mineral density and looks for fractures and osteoporosis.  Women should be tested within two years of menopause, and men even earlier. Earlier testing is recommended for those being treated for chronic conditions.

7. Learn About Your Family History

Find out whether your parents and grandparents suffered from bone loss and osteoporosis.   When parents, siblings or relatives have the disease, you are more likely to develop it.  Knowing the history will prepare you for dealing with the issue.

Knowing how to strengthen your bones whether you’re young, middle aged, or elderly is a way to stay healthy.  Knowing different ways to do this will keep you on the right track. When someone asks how to strengthen my bones you will have an answer. Don’t forget to check with your doctor before taking supplements and starting an exercise routine. 

Written by: Joan Russell