According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), half of all Americans over the age of 50 have weak bones. There is good news, no matter how old we are, there are things we can do to prevent bone loss.
Our bones support us and allow us to move. They protect our brain, heart, and other organs from injury. Our bones also store minerals such as calcium and phosphorous, which help keep our bones strong. However, bones also release minerals into the body when we need them for other uses.
There are many things we can do to keep our bones healthy and strong. Eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, getting plenty of exercise, and having good health habits help keep our bones healthy.
Getting enough calcium in your diet is an important step for bone health. The National Institutes of Health recommends getting 1,000 mg of calcium a day if you are over 19. The recommendation goes to 1,200 a day if you are a woman over 51. It’s also important to get enough vitamin D, as it helps the body absorb calcium. If there is not enough calcium in the diet to supply all the cells that need it, calcium is removed from the skeleton.
Just as exercise helps strengthen muscles, exercise also helps strengthen our bones. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, running, and weightlifting are great for bone strength.
Another factor that can interfere with bone health is tobacco use. Whether through cigarettes or chewing tobacco, the use of it will weaken bones over time according to the National Institutes of Health. This is especially true in women who smoke.
Bone Health for Life: Health Information Basics for You and Your Family. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Available from: https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/bone-health-life-health-information-basics-you-and-your-family
Bone Health Basics. [Internet] Available from: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/staying-healthy/bone-health-basics/