Osteoporosis is a common health problem, especially for women at their menopausal age and above. Basically, this condition occurs when your body makes less bones or loses a lot of bones. As a result, your skeletal system becomes fragile and prone to breaking. Nonetheless, there are numerous ways to prevent osteoporosis.
1. Build Sturdier Bones through Exercise
Most people workout to improve their physique. But, regular exercise can also result in sturdier bones. This is especially true if you’re doing weight-bearing exercises like dancing, jogging, and climbing stairs.
Yoga is another weight-bearing exercise that can strengthen your bones. According to a study, doing a 12-minute yoga every day lead to an increase in bone density in the spine, thigh bone (femur), and hips.
Aside from that, you should also try strength training. As you know, these activities require weights. But, you don’t have to go to the gym. Body-weight exercises like squats and pushups are good choices. Lifting grocery bags or a young child also counts as strength training.
2. Drink the Right Beverages
One of the most effective ways to prevent osteoporosis is to watch what you drink. A lot of people drink coffee as part of their morning rituals. Some will drink more throughout the day to feel energized. But, did you know that you can lose about 150 mg of calcium for every cup of coffee that you sip? For this reason, experts recommend increasing your calcium intake if you love this bitter beverage.
Aside from coffee, you should also avoid carbonated drinks like champagne, sodas, and sparkling waters. Basically, these beverages contain phosphates that can leech the calcium in your bones, especially when taken excessively.
So, what beverages should you choose? One study has shown that green tea is an excellent drink for your bones. This is not only due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The study revealed that the compounds in this healthful beverage also support bone formation. Other highly recommended products are almond milk and dandelion tea.
3. Get Some Sunlight
It is a fact that the sun can damage your skin and health. For this reason, some of us try to avoid the sun. As much as possible, we wear sunblock to protect ourselves. However, always remember that our skin needs sunlight to create vitamin D. Thus, it is important to go out and enjoy the sun. But, keep in mind that sunblock can hinder about 90% of your skin’s vitamin D production. Hence, you should avoid using this product when you’re trying to reap the health benefits of sunlight.
Aside from the sun, mushrooms are the best plant sources of vitamin D. You can also try adding fortified products in your diet to get enough amounts of this valuable nutrient.
4. Consume Bone-Strengthening Minerals Every Day
The two most important minerals to fortify your skeletal system are calcium and magnesium. Always remember, your body will break down your bones if you don’t get enough calcium. Thus, one of the most important ways to prevent osteoporosis is to include calcium-rich foods in your daily meals. Some of the best plant sources of calcium are kale, broccoli, and collard greens.
As for magnesium, this mineral helps in calcium absorption by playing a part in turning vitamin D into its active form. You can get this essential nutrient in spinach, almonds, black beans, and pumpkin seeds.
5. Choose Healthy Lifestyle Habits
The last in this list is to opt for healthy lifestyle habits like avoiding cigarettes. Keep in mind that smoking can increase your risk of fractures and bone loss by lowering your estrogen levels. Remember, estrogen holds the calcium in your bones. In fact, having low estrogen levels is one reason menopausal women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
Constant stress is another factor that can weaken your bones. As you know, this negative feeling can lead to various health problems like elevated blood sugar levels that may eventually lead to calcium loss. Hence, doing relaxing activities will certainly improve your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Lastly, getting about seven or eight hours of sleep is another vital health goal you should aim to strengthen your body. In fact, one study revealed that adults who habitually get less than six hours of sleep have an increase risk of osteoporosis.
With that, always remember that getting old doesn’t always equate to a frail body. Fractures due to weak bones are preventable. Don’t wait until you reach a certain age to start caring for your body. You need to build sturdier bones as early as today by following the natural ways to prevent osteoporosis mentioned above.
- Sleep and Osteoporosis (NCBI)
- Yoga and Bone Health
- Carbonated Water and Bones (Harvard)
- Exercise and Bone Strength (UNM)