Most people think of osteoporosis as a disease that affects people over 65, but bone loss is something that can be prevented or at least minimized by supporting strong bones way before then. Although the best prevention for bone-thinning osteoporosis begins early, during the first two decades of life when you can most influence your peak bone mass by getting enough calcium and vitamin D and doing bone-strengthening exercise, it is never too late to adopt bone-preserving habits.
Follow these six strategies to help support bone strength and possibly prevent osteoporosis.
Diet: Get enough calcium and vitamin D, ideally through the foods you eat. Nuts, legumes, green leafy vegetables and organic dairy are all good sources of calcium. Fruits, vegetables, and grains provide other minerals crucial to bone health, such as magnesium and phosphorus.
Maintain a healthy weight: This is particularly important for women. Menstrual periods often stop in women who are underweight, due to a poor diet or excessive exercise, and that can mean that estrogen levels are too low to support bone growth.
Don’t smoke and limit alcohol intake: Smoking and too much alcohol both decrease bone mass.
Weight-bearing exercises: Regular weight-bearing exercise like walking, dancing or step aerobics can protect your bones. Also include strength training as part of your exercise routine.
Talk with your doctor about your risk factors: Certain medical conditions (like celiac disease) and some medications (steroids and others) can increase the chances that you will develop osteoporosis. It’s important to talk with your doctor to develop a prevention strategy that accounts for these factors.
Supplement: If your diet is lacking, talk to a health care practitioner about a bone support formula like Pathway Bone Guardian. Bone Guardian is a unique formulation of 12 vitamins, minerals and cofactors needed by the body to maintain strong bones and joints. Because it contains a natural hydroxyapatite form of calcium, it also provides other key ingredients that comprise the organic portion of bone. Plus, it has been shown to be especially well absorbed by the body, an essential benefit, since our ability to absorb calcium and other minerals typically declines with age.
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