The bone is the body’s major structural and supportive connective tissue, so it’s important to keep them strong and healthy. Our bones are in a state of constant flux. Old bone breaks down and new bone is formed. Up until the age of 30, the human body has the ability to create new bone faster than the amount of bone loss thus increasing the bone mass. Calcium is an abundantly found mineral in the bone and plays an important role in bone health. The loss of bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue is associated with low calcium levels. In fact, as many as half of women and one-fourth of men over 50 are likely to suffer a fracture related to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone disorder characterized by the loss of bone mass and destruction of bone tissue. It weakens the bones, causing them to break. The bones of hips, spine and wrists are generally most affected by osteoporosis.
As you age, your bones become less dense and you become more prone to injury. There are simple ways to keep your bones strong and healthy. Here are a few tips to help you to preserve bone health:
- Incorporate bone-building foods into your diet: These include calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, cheese, low-fat dairy products, fish, and dark leafy vegetables. Make sure your diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables as they contain many of the vitamins and minerals that are needed for strong bones. If you are lactose intolerant, you can try soya milk. Drink alcohol or sodas in moderation, as excessive amounts of these beverages can have an adverse effect on your bone mineral density.
- Supplement your diet: Your calcium requirement increases with age. Experts recommend that adults age 19 to 70 get 1000 mg calcium per day. You may need to take supplements if you are not getting the recommended amount of calcium from food alone. Consult your doctor before starting the supplements to find out the right dose for you.
- Spend time in the sun: Depending on your skin pigmentation and where you live, anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes of sunlight a few times a week is all your skin needs to produce vitamin D, which is necessary for absorption of the calcium required to produce healthy bones.
- Exercise and maintain healthy body weight: Along with adequate nutrition, exercise plays a key role in maintaining bone health. Brisk walking, aerobics, calisthenics, and weight lifting are the best bone-strengthening exercises.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking is a real danger to your bone health. Smoking reduces blood supply to the bones, slows the production of new bone, and decreases the absorption of calcium from food.
Whether you are young and trying to maximize bone mass to improve athletic performance OR older and trying to preserve it to avoid injuries, following these simple tips will contribute not only to bone health, but to overall health and vitality.
Dr. Domb is a nationally recognized orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery of the hip, shoulder and knee. A noted pioneer in advanced new techniques in hip arthroscopy, he delivers innovative treatments for patients with hip injuries such as impingement and labral tears. Dr. Domb is also an expert in arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder and knee, adept in specialized techniques including arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and all-inside ACL reconstruction.