May is osteoporosis month

Posted May 18, 2011

Salmon with tomatoes, creative commons license, Charles HaynesYour bones are your body’s foundation. When they’re brittle, you’re at risk for osteoporosis . But by making a few basic healthy lifestyle choices, you can keep healthy and strong.

There are several causes for osteoporosis, including family history, smoking, not getting enough exercise, drinking too much alcohol, unhealthy eating habits, and certain medications and medical conditions.

Experts say that the key health habits to adopt for strong bones are:

  • Doing weight-bearing exercises
  • Taking adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D

Weight-bearing exercises include anything weight training, but also anything that uses your own weight as resistance or a force of impact, such as walking, dancing, yoga, tai chi, lifting and resistance training.

Vitamin D and calcium are essential and dependent on each other. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium. You find calcium in foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, kale, broccoli, spinach and tofu. Vitamin D is found naturally in only a few foods such as fatty fish (salmon, sardines) and egg yolks. Catching some rays also provides vitamin D.

Here are more bone building tips to help you!

  • Take a walk. Add in even a simple 10 minute walk into your day. If you’re not already exercising regularly, keep adding minutes onto the walk in slow increments.
  • Quit smoking. FCHP’s Quit to Win program can help you!
  • Choose low-fat milk fortified with vitamin D. It’s a heart-and-bone healthy way to get the nutrients you need.
  • Limit salt, caffeine and alcohol.

For more information:

How much vitamin D should you be taking? (USNews & World Report)

Time in the sun: How much is needed for vitamin D? (USNews & World Report)

Osteoporosis: Taking calcium and Vitamin D

Photo credit: Charles Haynes, Creative Commons license

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The information written about in this blog is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek care from a medical professional when you have a health concern.