As the foundation of our body structure, our bones provide us with support, mobility, and protection. However, as we enter our golden years, our bones naturally become weaker and more susceptible to osteoporosis, fractures, and other bone-related conditions.
The good news is that several simple yet effective strategies can help keep our bones healthy and strong as we age. Let’s talk about those strategies and where you can seek expert care for your musculoskeletal system health in Westlake, OH.
Consume Calcium and Vitamin D Rich Diet
The skeleton of our body stores calcium, a mineral that is necessary for our body to function properly. This mineral is especially important as a building block for our bones.
For proper functioning of the body and good health of the bones, we must get calcium from the food we eat. Vitamin D helps our body to absorb and utilize calcium from food effectively.
If we do not get enough calcium, the calcium is removed from our bones, which, over time, causes our bones to grow weaker and more prone to fractures. The loss of calcium and other minerals from the bone also leads to osteoporosis, a disorder in which bones become porous and breakable.
Consuming a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is crucial for maintaining strong and healthy bones, especially in your golden years.
Here are some calcium and vitamin D-rich foods that you should incorporate into your diet for strong and healthy bones.
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Leafy green vegetables like kale, broccoli, bok choy
- Fortified foods such as cereals, plant-based milk alternatives, and fortified orange juices
- Fatty fish
- Egg yolk
- Cod liver oil
If your diet does not provide enough calcium or vitamin D, take them in the form of supplements after consulting your primary care provider. Sun is also a good source of vitamin D. So,aim for 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight a few times a week, but wear sunscreen.
Engage in Weight Bearing Exercises
Regular exercises and physical activities, particularly weight-bearing exercises, can play a crucial role in maintaining bone strength. Physical activities such as jogging, walking, dancing, and weightlifting stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss.
For good bone health, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking or swimming, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, like running, each week. Incorporating strength training exercises into your routine can also go a long way in maintaining your musculoskeletal system health.
Quit Smoking and Alcohol Consumption
Continual smoking of cigarettes diminishes bone density, and consuming alcohol interferes with your body’s capacity to absorb calcium, reducing bone formation. So, if you smoke, try to quit, and if you consume alcohol regularly, aim to limit alcohol consumption to moderate levels.
Get Regular Bone Density Scans
Bone density testing such as DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) can help assess bone health and detect the early signs of osteoporosis or low bone density. Your orthopedic or primary care doctors can recommend the frequency of DEXA bone scans based on your risk factors and medical history. Detecting bone problems such as osteoporosis early enables your doctor to take preventive measures before they worsen.
Bone Health Specialist in Westlake, OH
Maintaining strong and healthy bones as you age requires a combination of regular exercise,a balanced diet, and healthy lifestyle choices. By following the aforementioned tips, you can reduce your risk for bone-related problems and promote good bone health.
At Orthopaedic Associates, we have a team of board-certified and fellowship-trained musculoskeletal system experts who deliver a comprehensive range of orthopedic services to our patients in and around Westlake and Avon, OH. Our orthopedic specialists also provide patients with all the necessary information and guidance they need to preserve their bone health and enjoy a better quality of life.