Osteoporosis sounds relatively harmless, but it can cause devastating damage to your body. Over 40 million Americans already have the disease or they’re at high risk for it, meaning there’s a severe epidemic of a health disorder that’s completely preventable. There are risk factors that you cannot change like ethnicity, body size, or family history. However, there are plenty of risk factors that you can eliminate today to lower your risk for osteoporosis.
You hear that for everything, don’t you? If you are predisposed to osteoporosis, act now to ensure your diet has enough calcium and vitamin D in it. Of course, dairy products are naturally high in calcium and there are lots of foods out there that have calcium added like orange juice, cereal, and bread. Eat lots of green, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and collards as they are all excellent sources of calcium.
Get a Bone Density Test
This test will measure a small portion of your bones to test their strength and evaluate your risk for osteoporosis. Most likely your hip, spine, and heel will be the bones that are evaluated. The test is painless and takes about 10 minutes. A T-score that’s below -2.5 means you have osteoporosis. If you haven’t yet developed osteoporosis, you may have a condition known as osteopenia, a mild thinning of your bones, that can come to light with this test. Your doctor can give you a plan to prevent this from worsening, making this a necessary step to preventing your bones from completely thinning. Speak with others in your age group to see if any of them have found a company which can help you.
Get Out and Move
Exercise really is a panacea and one that’s highly underutilized. Thirty minutes of exercise a day will strengthen your bones, giving you extra fighting power against this disease. Weight bearing exercise makes your body resist gravity and stimulates the bone making cells in your body. Strength training causes muscles to pull on bones, adding to their strength, and it also increases flexibility, lowering your chances of falling and breaking a bone. Aerobics, running, yoga, and swimming are all excellent choices to strengthen your bones. Some retirement communities have facilities that encourage and enable seniors to be more active in their daily lives. Learn more here if you think a community is right for your situation.
“Beware the Bone Robbers”
“Bone robbers” are lifestyle choices that increase your likelihood of falling or your risk for getting the disease. Bone loss has been linked to activities like excess alcohol consumption, smoking cigarettes (this more than doubles your bone loss), and drinking cola sodas.
When you have risk factors that you cannot change, it’s important to ensure you don’t have any voluntary risk factors in your life. Participating in activities that can increase your bone loss is a risky move, putting you closer to a disease that can steal your freedom. Take good care of your body; it’s your only vessel in this precious life.