November is Osteoporosis Awareness Month and we want to help you get your bones in tip top shape!
Genes, lifestyle and diet all play a key role in the onset of osteoporosis and prevention requires an integrated approach. Here are some tips to help improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Diet is an important source of protection for your bones
Calcium is a building block for strong, healthy bones, but as our bodies do not produce calcium on their own, we must eat foods that are high in calcium each day. Good choices include cheese, milk, yogurt, calcium-fortified soy or almond milk, dark leafy greens, broccoli, bok choy, almonds or canned salmon (with the bones).
Use your bones
Regular exercise plays a vital role in the prevention of osteoporosis so aim to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days per week to help keep your bones healthy. Muscle strengthening exercises help improve bone density, strengthen tendons and increase joint stability. Weight bearing exercises such as walking, dancing and jogging can also help your bones respond by forming new bone. Exercises that target the muscles that extend through your back help to improve posture, flexibility and reduce the risk of spine fractures.
Know your risk and speak to your doctor
One of the first steps to protect against osteoporosis-related fractures is to know your fracture risk. Some of the risk factors include:
- Having a previously fractured your hip, spine or wrist
- Having a genetic history of hip fractures
- If you are you over the age of 50
- Having rheumatoid arthritis
- Having a Body Mass Index (BMI) under 19
- Drinking three or more glasses of alcohol a day
If you have any of the risk factors listed, it’s important that you speak to your healthcare practitioner about an osteoporosis prevention program.
Take a bone building supplement
Taking a daily bone building supplement can help naturally increase bone formation and reduce bone loss. Calcium supplements can help reduce your risk of a calcium deficiency and help strengthen your bones. Vitamin D increases the body’s ability to absorb calcium so it’s important to get enough either through sunlight (safely in the summer months), or by supplementing year-round.