Healthy Bones at Every Age
It’s never too late to start protecting your bones. Bone strength loss can lead to osteoporosis, resulting in fragile bones that are more prone to breaking. In older adults, this disorder can lead to wrist, spine, and hip fractures that limit independence and mobility.
Most of us reach peak bone mass between 25 and 30, and by the time 40 hits, we are slowly beginning to lose bone mass. But that’s not the end of the story. Proper nutrition and regular exercise can significantly slow bone loss and help you avoid severe bone loss:
• Calcium and Vitamin D. According to the Mayo Clinic, for adults 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70, the recommended dietary allowance is 1,000mg of calcium a day. The recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day for women after age 50 and for men after age 70. Also make sure you’re paying attention to vitamin D in your diet, as your body needs it to absorb calcium. Ask your doctor if you’re worried that you’re not getting enough vitamin D.
• Physical activity. Mix in weight-bearing exercise like tennis, climbing stairs, walking, and jogging into your regular routine to help your bones stay strong and to slow bone loss.
• Alcohol and tobacco. Tobacco use and consuming more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your osteoporosis risk, so it makes sense to avoid tobacco and drink only in moderation.
If you have concerns about bone health, consult your doctor, who might recommend a bone density test. In the meantime, stay active, eat well, and take care of yourself so that your bones can take care of you.