The older you get, the more bone density you lose. This puts you at a higher risk for broken bones if you slip and fall, and osteoporosis becomes a greater concern. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to accept the fact that you’re going to become frailer over time. There are several things you can do to increase your bone density and help you stay healthy and strong so you can live life to the fullest.
- Taking vitamin D. Vitamin D is the key nutrient when it comes to bones that can withstand life’s little tumbles and strenuous activities. You can take a multi-vitamin to make sure you get adequate amounts. It also comes in a lot of dairy products (think vitamin fortified milk) and you also get it from sunshine. When your body is exposed to the sun’s rays it makes its own vitamin D, so try to get 15 minutes of direct sunshine each and every day for the best effects.
- Engage in weight bearing exercises. When you perform workouts that are based on holding up your entire body weight, you’re helping to build strong bones. This includes cardio activities such as walking, running, jogging, roller blading, aerobics, etc. Basically, anything where you’re on your feet the entire time will help.
- Perform strength training exercises. Not only is it beneficial to your bones to do weight bearing cardio workouts, but strength training exercises do wonders for your skeletal structure as well. Lift weights 2-4 times per week and you’ll notice that your bones (and muscles) will become stronger than ever.
- Take medications. If you have lower bone density already, your doctor may prescribe you medications to help stop or reverse this effect. Some of the most common drugs include Miacalcin, Fosomax, and Boniva.
Don’t just sit back and accept bone loss as a part of life. You can and should do things to increase your bone density. Your wellness and quality of life depend on it!