Over 40 million Americans are facing the challenges associated with Osteoporosis, and 68% of them are women according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. But there is also some good news contained in the current report, and that is the fact that Osteoporosis is for the most part preventable. The human body builds up most of its total bone mass by the age of around 30 and after that point, the focus turns to maintaining the existing bone. So it is truly never too late to begin taking good care of your bones by consuming adequate amounts of calcium and taking part in physical activity.
Increased Risk Factors
There are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of Osteoporosis. These are not certain indicators of the disease but are things to consider and to be aware of as you decide how best to maintain your bones strength and density. Females have a higher incident of osteoporosis than males and should focus early in life on bone maintenance. In addition, the risk of bone damage from Osteoporosis increases as women age.
Smaller, thin boned women are also more susceptible to bone damage and should be extra vigilant when it comes to calcium consumption and proper exercise to prevent bone deterioration or damage. Studies have also found that white and Asian women are more prone to Osteoporosis as are women who have a family history of the disease.
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to prevent Osteoporosis. Milk, cheese and other dairy products that are high in calcium are essential for strong bones. Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage are also good for bone growth as well as tofu and some nuts. Another good option is any fish in which you consume the bones such as sardines or pilchards. There are also a few items to eliminate from your diet or limit when you are concerned with increasing bone health. Foods that contain caffeine or high amounts of sodium or protein will increase the loss of calcium and cause bones to become weaker.
Weight bearing exercise is also critical to maintaining healthy bones. Activities such as walking, jogging or running in combination with strength training is the most effective way to keep both your muscles and skeleton strong. Studies have found that exercising for 30 minutes at least three times per week provide the best results.
It is common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health but studies have found that smoking is directly linked to the loss of bone density. Smoking also increases the risk of bone fractures and increases the healing time for bone and other types of injuries. Alcohol consumption has also been found to prevent bones from absorbing calcium and can contribute to a loss of bone density.
Proper diet and exercise are important to overall health but they are proving to be two of the most critical factors for preventing Osteoporosis. Knowing that older women are far more prone to bone density issues and bone injuries has been helpful in learning how best to focus on preventing Osteoporosis rather than simple trying to find ways to manage it one the disease has begun.