Osteoporosis prevention such as developing strong bones starts early in life. It’s never too early to start healthy habits to increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis. Having a healthy dose of calcium is crucial for healthy childhood development and building strong bones. It should begin during the toddler years if not sooner. Children who consistently have at least two servings of dairy products every day have much stronger bones when they’re teenagers.
Healthy child development doesn’t stop once they become teenagers. It’s important to continue the habits of building strong bones during these years because bone and growth development is nearly complete at this stage of their lives. Bones will begin to dwindle during young adulthood so it’s very important to get a head start in preventing osteoporosis by building really strong bones during the teenage years before they dwindle. Physical activity during the childhood and teenage years is also very important in developing strong bones. Encouraging activities through sports and playing outside can be very fun as well as aid in bone growth.
Eating the right foods during any point in your life can do a lot for your overall health and more specifically the health of your bones. A diet that is geared towards preventing osteoporosis will definitely involve healthy doses of foods high in calcium and vitamin D. Our bones are made of calcium minerals and vitamin D is a nutrient that helps your body absorbs calcium. Calcium is vital in maintaining healthy bones. Adults should aim for about 1000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. Older, more at risk of osteoporosis, people need to get 1200 mg of calcium a day. It’s best to get your osteoporosis from a variety of foods.
Vitamin D is the nutrient that helps your body uses the calcium that you eat. The best source of vitamin D is natural sunlight. About 15 minutes a day in natural sunlight will give you the vitamin D you need. There are a couple of foods you could eat as well to get your daily dose of vitamin D as well if you live in a city that doesn’t get very much sun. Foods such as fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines), egg yolk, and dairy products are good sources of vitamin D
Physical activity and exercise is important throughout your life, but it’s especially important later in life to prevent osteoporosis. Some people think that exercise increases the risk of injury from broken bones and fractures. The truth is quite the contrary. A regular exercise program actually helps build strong bones and muscles as well as improves balance and coordination to prevent falls. Weight bearing exercises such as walking, dancing, low impact aerobics, and stair climbing will build up bone strength in the hips and legs. Strength training such as free weights, weight machines, and resistance bands help strengthen the muscles and bones in the arms and upper spines. Strengthening the bones in the upper spine can help to prevent compression fractures caused by osteoporosis.