Around the world, approximately 200 million individuals currently suffer from osteoporosis. Of these people, the majority are women, but plenty of men still find themselves with weak, brittle bones as they age. Osteoporosis refers to a breakdown of cells that leads to poor bone density and an increased incidence of fractures. It most often strikes women after menopause and men after the age of 50. Although you may feel as if the odds are stacked against you, you can still take specific steps to reduce your risk for this disease and prevent bone loss even as you age.
Add in Strength-Based Workouts
Much like muscles, bones also need to be worked out to remain strong. One of the best ways to do that is with resistance training and strengthening workouts. Light weights can make a huge difference, especially if you are doing high reps. You may also want to try heavier weights and body-weight exercises, such as planks, pushups, and squats.
Try a Variety of Exercises
However, it is not just strengthening workouts that can improve the health of your bones. In addition to these, jogging, walking, swimming, yoga, and aerobics can trigger your body to make new bone cells.
Eat a Nutrient-Rich Diet
You have surely heard how important calcium and vitamin D are for your bones, but you also need ample supplies of proteins and other nutrients. Opt for whole foods whenever possible and particularly focus on whole grains, lean meats, and dark green, leafy vegetables. In addition, cut out alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine, which can leach nutrients from your bones.
Know Your Risk
Although your genetics may play a part in what you can expect as you age, the best way for you to know your risk for osteoporosis is through a bone density scan. This radiation-based test is quick and is particularly important for women over the age of 65. Using information from this scan, your doctor will be able to give you more specific tips or may discuss medications or treatments that could help you.