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Women's Health

March 2021

4 Steps to Better Bone Health

Any building project begins with a solid foundation. Similarly, strong bones give your body shape, keeping you stable.

Bolstering bone health reduces your risk of falling and sustaining a fracture. Here’s how to shore up your inner support system.

1. Eat smart

Several key nutrients ensure strong bones. These include:

  • Calcium; it’s found in dairy products as well as fortified juices and cereals.

  • Vitamin D; it’s found in egg yolks and fish and produced by your body in sunlight.

  • Protein; men should get 56 grams per day and women should get 46 grams.

Talk with your healthcare provider or a dietitian if you have questions.

2. Move your body      

Bones, just like muscles, are living tissue. Exercise makes both of them stronger. Do some physical activity most days, if not every day.

The best moves for your bones are weight-bearing and resistance activities. Weight-bearing exercises include walking, dancing, tennis, and hiking.

Resistance exercises include strength training. You can use weights, household items, your own body weight, or stretchy tools called resistance bands.       

3. Mind your medicines 

Medicine you take for arthritis, pain, or other conditions can make it hard for your bones to absorb calcium. The risk is higher if you take more than one of these treatments.

Meanwhile, other medicines can slow bone loss. Talk with your healthcare provider about your regimen. They might remove some medicines and add others to protect your bones.

4. Don’t smoke

Cigarettes harm your heart and lungs and sap strength from your skeleton. Women who smoke have lower levels of bone-boosting hormones in their blood. And all smokers, regardless of sex, may have trouble absorbing calcium from food.

Bone mass naturally decreases with age. But with these 4 steps, you can make the most of what you have—and continue standing strong and tall.

 

 

Online Medical Reviewer: Brian McDonough, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ray Turley, BSN, MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2020
© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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