Preventing Osteoporosis

There are many different health problems that as women we have to look out for. One of the most common is osteoporosis. Everywhere women are being warned of the dangers of this and are asked to prevent it as best they can. Unfortunately many women don’t know of the proper way to do this and are unaware just how bad this disease can be.

Osteoporosis is when your bones basically wear down on you making it impossible for you to do your everyday normal routine. Building strong bones – starting at a young age – is the best thing you can do to prevent this. We’ve made up a list for you that will teach you the different things you can do to keep your bones healthy and strong.

1. You need to get your recommended daily amount of Calcium. This is needed for the heart, muscles and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. Inadequate calcium is thought to contribute to the development of osteoporosis. National nutrition surveys have shown that many women and young girls consume less than half the amount of calcium recommended to grow and maintain healthy bones.

Adults under age 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium daily, and adults age 50 and over need 1,200 mg of calcium daily. If you have difficulty getting enough calcium from the foods you eat, you may take a calcium supplement to make up the difference.

2. Another important thing you need to take daily is Vitamin D. This is needed for the body to absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D, you will be unable to absorb calcium from the foods you eat, and your body will have to take calcium from your bones. Vitamin D comes from two sources: through the skin following direct exposure to sunlight and from the diet.

Adults under age 50 need 400-800 IU of vitamin D3 daily, and adults age 50 and over need 800-1,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D that best supports bone health. It is also called cholecalciferol. Vitamin D can also be obtained from fortified milk, egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver and supplements.

3. Exercise is also important to good bone health. If you exercise regularly in childhood and adolescence, you are more likely to reach your peak bone density than those who are inactive. The best exercise for your bones is weight-bearing exercise such as walking, dancing, jogging, stair-climbing, racquet sports and hiking. If you have been sedentary most of your adult life, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program.