As you age beyond 30, the risk of osteoporosis increases. By this time, your bones naturally become thinner and the tissue slowly begins to dissolve at a faster rate. Bone loss is known to be more rapid in women after menopause when their natural production of estrogen slows. Men are at higher risk around the age of 45, when their testosterone levels begin to decrease. Most often, osteoporosis does not have a noticeable effect on people until the age of 60.
Taking all this into account, there is a lot you can do to prevent and protect your bones from a young age to avoid dealing with osteoporosis later in life. You are never too young or old to start caring for your body! Curious how to prevent osteoporosis? Read on to understand what you can do today!
How Can You Prevent Osteoporosis?
It’s important to understand that osteoporosis can be hereditary and is more common in those who have family members with osteoporosis. So the first step is figuring out if that is the case for you. To best prevent osteoporosis, you may need to adjust your habits. A few things that play a role in osteoporosis prevention include:
- Exercise Routine
- Supplement Intake
- Smoking Habits
- Bracing & Support
Osteoporosis Prevention Exercises
Little to no movement can negatively impact your risk for osteoporosis. Staying active and keeping your body mobile can be the secret to many issues that come with aging, but is especially important when preventing osteoporosis. As your bones weaken, falling becomes more likely as you age and become unstable. When your body has built the strength to support itself, you are in a better position to support your weakening bones, therefore experience little to no falls later in life.
Daily weight-bearing movement is the best form of exercise to prevent osteoporosis. Some options include:
- Stair Climbing
- Lifting Weights
Exercises to Avoid
It is essential to stay active when preventing osteoporosis, but because osteoporosis is a bone condition, you need to be selective in the exercises you are participating in. Anything that causes extra stress on the bone should be avoided.
Avoid anything considered a high impact exercise, including running and jumping. Skip any excessive bending and twisting that can pinch or rub your bones together such as sit-ups and toe touches. Most of all, avoid activities with a high risk of falling or injuring yourself. Ice skating, skiing, and rolling blading are examples of high risk forms of exercise.
Best Foods for Osteoporosis
Your diet plays a huge role in your overall health, and the nutrients you gain from your food is a way to increase bone density without drugs or supplementation. When trying to prevent osteoporosis, you should incorporate foods high in calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium to support bone density. Some bone strengthening foods are:
- Cottage Cheese
- Sweet Potatoes
When trying to prevent osteoporosis, avoid having too much sodium in your diet. Foods high in sodium can decrease your body's calcium supply. The same goes for coffee and alcohol. These foods are fine in moderation, but too much can reverse calcium supply and set back prevention.
Supplements for Osteoporosis
When you are not gaining the necessary nutrients to rebuild bone density, it is important to supplement those nutrients into your diet. Incorporating calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium vitamins are essential for strong bones. Be sure to talk to your health care provider if adding these supplements into your routine is necessary. Always try getting these nutrients from food first before resorting to supplementation.
Smoking & Osteoporosis
It is known that smoking can spark a chain-reaction of damage throughout your body. This is also the case for osteoporosis. When it comes to osteoporosis and smoking, the free radical molecules cigarette smoke creates in the body, can interfere with your organs, cells, and hormones that keep your bones healthy. If you are trying to treat or prevent osteoporosis, avoid smoking and the many toxins that come with it.
Braces for Osteoporosis
If you are currently dealing with osteoporosis or have any back pain, a brace is a great way to prevent further development. When your bones get weak, a little extra support can keep you from falling or injuring yourself more. Check out our options of supports for osteoporosis!