Being diagnosed with osteoporosis may feel like a blow, but there are many things you can do to help preserve your bone health and minimize bone loss as you get older. Practicing healthy lifestyle habits like eating a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and moderating your alcohol intake are effective ways to manage osteoporosis, but they can also boost your overall health and well-being. Here are seven healthy habits that do double duty by keeping your bones strong and promoting your general health.
Considerable advances have been made in identifying people at risk of fractures because of osteoporosis and in treatments designed to reduce fractures, say Poole and Compston in their clinical review of the management of osteoporosis. They discuss the genetic, nutritional, hormonal, and physical factors that influence peak bone mass, which is attained in the third decade and determines bone mineral density in later life. Avoidable clinical risk factors for fragility fractures include smoking, high alcohol consumption, low body mass index, and falls.
Here are 5 Healthy Habits to Help You Manage Osteoporosis :
(1) Get Enough Protein, Calcium, and Vitamin D :
To get the nutrients we need for good health, we should all be eating a well-balanced diet. If you have osteoporosis — or if you’re a man older than 70 or a postmenopausal woman — it’s especially important to make sure that you’re getting adequate amounts of protein, calcium, and vitamin D from whole-food sources like lean meats, fish, beans and legumes, eggs, vegetables, fruit, dairy, and foods fortified with calcium and vitamin D, which are essential nutrients for bone health
(2) Ask Your Doctor About Nutrition Supplements
It’s always best to get your nutrients from food, but if you can’t meet your daily requirements from your diet alone, you may benefit from supplements. Getting enough vitamin D can be particularly challenging because you can’t get it from many foods other than fatty fish, egg yolks, liver, and vitamin D-fortified products. Your body can make vitamin D from sunlight, but if it’s winter or you’re housebound, or you’re protecting your skin from skin cancer, you may not be producing enough.
(3) Stay Physically Active
Exercise can help with osteoporosis in a number of ways: It stimulates bone remodeling, helps strengthen muscles, and promotes balance, coordination, flexibility, and good posture. It can also boost your mood and mental health. Experts recommend getting 30 minutes of exercise each day to support bone health — walking, weight-bearing activities, and strength- and balance-training exercises are all good options.
(4) Lean on Your Doctor
Your doctor and other members of your health care team are valuable resources when it comes to managing osteoporosis. They can counsel you about your lifestyle habits, including your diet and your level of physical activity, and help you make the best decisions for your bone health. Be sure to keep your doctor informed about any new medications you begin taking, including herbs and supplements, so he or she can let you know if they’ll interact with any other medications you take, if they’re associated with bone loss, or even if they could increase your risk of falls.
(5) Take Steps to Prevent Falls
Approximately one-third of all people over 65 fall down each year, according to the NOF. “As people get older and become more frail, they’re more likely to fall on weakened bones, and that can lead to fracture,” says Singer. Besides eating healthily and exercising to boost bone health, there are many things you can do to prevent falls. The NOF offers the following tips:
Pay attention when you walk, especially in public.
Keep an eye out for slippery, sandy, or cluttered surfaces.
Be mindful of curbs and other changes in incline or decline.
Wear low-heeled shoes with rubber soles for more traction.
Keep your hands free and use handrails whenever possible.
Keep all your necessary items within easy reach.
Use assistive devices, if necessary.
Keep rooms well lit.
Install grab bars in the bathroom.
Use nonskid rubber mats throughout your home.