As you age past the half-century mark, bone breakdown will begin to outpace bone formation, leading to an increased risk of Osteoporosis. Even the slightest impact in the wrong way can lead to an increase in breaks and fractures, especially in the wrist, hip, and spine. Knowing all you can about this bone disease can help you reduce your risk of developing it.
Factors That Put You at Risk
- Being diagnosed with an overactive thyroid or parathyroid gland, chronic lung disease, cancer, endometriosis, and a vitamin D deficiency
- Using medication like prednisone (for asthma) for extended periods of time
- Living a sedentary lifestyle with a lack of exercise
- Low intake of calcium, vitamin D, and protein
- Alcohol abuse & smoking
- Low levels of estrogen in women
- Low levels of testosterone in men
- Consume Enough Calcium – Hitting your daily calcium goals each day significantly decreases fracture risk. Men and women over the age of 50 should be consuming roughly 1,200mg of calcium per day. Calcium supplements are available to take or you can eat calcium-rich foods like low-fat yogurt and milk, kale, tofu, beans, and orange juice. Make sure you’re hitting your daily goals, but not going too far over this number.
- Vitamin D is Key – Vitamin D plays a huge role in helping your bones absorb and incorporate calcium. Getting enough of this vitamin through everyday foods isn’t an easy task, so taking a supplement might be needed. Those under the age of 70 should aim for 600 IU of vitamin D, while those over the age of 70 should aim for 800 IU.
- Weight-Bearing Exercise – Any exercise where a person is on their feet will help stimulate your bones. Walking, running, dancing, aerobics, and weight training are all recommended activities to take part in multiple times per week. To help perform better during exercise and to lower your risk of osteoporosis further, cut back on caffeine, alcohol, and of course — smoking.
Having strong and healthy bones should always be a priority, otherwise, hospital visits will be plentiful down the road. For other useful tips and information, visit our blog! If you’re interested in learning more, or visiting The Arbors Assisted Living community, schedule a tour by contacting one of our five convenient locations: