We hear a lot about heart health and cholesterol levels in today’s media, but our wellness extends far beyond our cardiovascular system. What about your bone health? Osteoporosis risks can affect us all. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to building your natural bone strength as we go through life, and especially as we get older. Women, as they age are especially vulnerable to osteoporosis.
Quick Facts on Osteoporosis
While genetic factors play a big role in whether you can develop osteoporosis, there are still things that we can all do for better bone health. In this, the sooner you think of your bones, the better. Bone thinning begins to happen at the end of our 20s, so good bone development in youth is crucial.
However, even adults can take steps to build their bone health. Since your bones reach their peak mass (strength and size) while you’re in your mid-20s, you want to be able to maintain that level with easy exercises and a healthy diet geared to your bone wellness.
Good Exercises for Bone Health
Staying in motion isn’t just good for our muscles. It also helps our bones! Weight-bearing exercises tend to be best because they work against gravity, which encourages your body to build new bone and strengthen your skeletal system. Aerobic exercises like jogging, tennis, dancing, and yoga are good places to start, but even walking has its benefits.
The other component is strength training. Lifting weights (or even just those heavy bags of groceries from the store) can go a long way for your overall bone health. Consider adding some pushups and squats to the mix, and it will be easier to stay fit in every decade of your life.
Building Bones with Your Diet
If you remember the “Got Milk?” marketing campaign, you probably know that one of the big pieces for protecting your bones comes from calcium. But you don’t have to rely on milk alone to get your calcium fix. Plenty of other foods are calcium-rich, too. If you want to add these to your diet, think “green.” Broccoli, spinach, and kale all have a high calcium content. You can also look at beans and lentils for an extra calcium boost, or consider taking a calcium supplement.
Aside from calcium, though, it also helps to look at your vitamin D intake. This helps your body actually make the most use of the calcium itself—through absorption. These work in tandem for overall bone health. But if you’re not sure how your bones currently look, it’s probably time to visit your primary care doctor.
When Was Your Last Wellness Check-up?
Annual visits to a doctor can be one of the first indications of problems with bone health. Staying on top of your health means regular visits because prevention is key to long life and a good quality of life in that long life.
Don’t let health care costs and lack of insurance prevent you from seeing a doctor for preventative care. HOPE Healthcare Services provides services for those without insurance through the Community Care Program. If you’re in our Central Indiana service area, please feel free to submit your application. We would be honored to serve you!
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.