May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. Women of all ages need to know about Osteoporosis. Here’s how to care for your bones and keep them healthy.
Why is bone health important?
Your bones are continuously changing — new bone is made, and old bone is broken down. When you’re young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and your bone mass increases. Most people reach their peak bone mass around age 30. After that, bone remodeling continues, but you lose slightly more bone mass than you gain.
How likely you are to develop Osteoporosis — a condition that causes bones to become weakened and brittle — depends on how much bone mass you attain by the time you reach age 30 and how rapidly you lose it after that. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have “in the bank,” and the less likely you will develop it as you age.
What Is Osteoporosis?
According to the CDC, Osteoporosis, or “porous bone,” is a disease of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. Osteoporosis leads to an increased risk of bone fractures, typically in the wrist, hip, and spine. Did you know you have more than 200 bones in your body? They hold you up and, along with your muscles, keep you moving, so it is important to take good care of your bones.
How to Care for Your Bones
Besides calcium and collagen, bones also contain water, minerals, and cells that grow and change. Even though most of the bones you may have seen looked all dried up, they are alive and growing inside you. Some things that we can do to help keep our bones healthy:
Calcium – When your body makes new bone tissue, it first lays down a framework of collagen. Then, tiny crystals of calcium from your blood spread throughout the collagen framework. The hard crystals fill in all the nooks and crannies. Calcium and collagen work together to make bones strong and flexible.
Vitamin D – This important vitamin helps your bones use the calcium they get from the foods you eat. Not many foods contain vitamin D, so it is added to common foods like milk, orange juice, yogurt, and cereals. You can also get vitamin D from canned tuna, salmon, or sunlight.
Bone-strengthening activity – Activities that include running and jumping, like soccer or basketball, make your bones work against gravity. Activities like swimming and riding a bike are not as bone-strengthening because the exertion against gravity is lessened in these activities. Bone-strengthening activity helps form new bone tissue. Weightlifting is an excellent way to improve bone mass as well as muscle mass.
Avoid substance abuse – Don’t smoke and avoid drinking more than one alcoholic drink each day.
Whether you go outside, go to a gym, or exercise at home, the most important issues are getting moving and ingest plenty of Vitamin D and Calcium to strengthen your bones and prevent Osteoporosis. Also, get your bone density tested.
Do you have questions or concerns about your health? Are you in the Northwest Arkansas area? We are here to help. Our medical team at Creekside Center for Women is ready to assist you with any problems or concerns you may have. Contact Creekside Center for Women today. 479.582.9268