It's only natural to notice changes in your body as you get older. Joints might feel sore in winter, your energy isn't what it used to be, and you find yourself becoming cautious on how to take care of your body.
If you're a woman, chances are you're concerned about how to prevent osteoporosis.
Perhaps you have a family member who's dealt with osteoporosis. Maybe your doctor brought it up and you're wondering if there's anything you can to keep this disease from affecting you.
You might feel hopeless or uncertain about what to do. Are there any methods you can use that make a difference in your life and prevent this from becoming your new norm?
Preventing osteoporosis doesn't simply involve drinking milk and hoping for the best. Learn more about the best ways to strengthen your bones naturally, and see how you can stop osteoporosis in its tracks.
Exercise Can Make a Difference in Bone Strength
You know exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle. It helps you lose weight, look your best and can even increase your self-confidence.
But did you know preventing osteoporosis is another benefit that exercise can provide? You can engage in a variety of exercise as long as it's either weight-bearing or muscle-building.
Exercise that involves weight-bearing includes:
If you'd rather focus on muscle-building exercises, make a point to do:
Use a resistance band
Rising up on demi-pointe like a ballet dancer
The more muscle you build, the better your chances are of strengthing your bones, along with the rest of your body.
It's worth noting that the more you work out and strengthen your bones, the fewer chances you'll have of falling and breaking them. Regular exercise and a decrease in fractures are linked.
For example, women who have weak thighs are more likely to experience knee problems in the future. If you develop osteoporosis, this can make the issue even worse.
If you want to encourage this healthy habit, now is the time to thwart osteoporosis by working out as much as possible.
Know About the Best Foods for Healthy Bones
We all know you are what you eat; with that in mind, eating clean, healthy food is a recipe for low body fat and fewer health problems. But have you considered how clean eating can help prevent osteoporosis?
There are several different items on the menu that prove to fight osteoporosis, and plenty to choose from if you like variety.
Options include everything from green peppers to pineapples on the fruit and vegetable side. If you're wondering about meat, fish is the best source for fighting against the disease.
Eating more fruits, vegetables, and lean meat such as fish can help you avoid inflammation. This can aggravate osteoporosis and your overall health in general.
If you need a reason to change your diet, see how eating healthy can make a difference and prevent this from overtaking your life.
Understand Calcium Comes From More Than One Source
Maybe you're concerned about calcium. You know it's a major part of bone health, but you don't enjoy drinking milk.
You're not sure how to get the suggested amount of calcium--is there anything else you can do?
Consider taking calcium supplements. These are normally found over the counter and are helpful if you think you're not getting enough of the suggested amount of calcium for an adult.
Fish like sardines, leafy green vegetables such as kale, and seeds are just some of the examples of calcium-rich foods. If you don't like one of these, try another. The more variety you'll have in your diet, the better you'll do at fighting osteoporosis.
Avoiding processed food is better for your body in the long-term. Slowly adding more clean-diet friendly foods such as these improves your overall health.
You'll find it easier to lose weight and have more energy, even as you get older. There's many benefits to changing your diet, and ensuring you get the vitamins and minerals you need straight from the source is one of them.
See How Vitamin D Can Help
Vitamin D works in conjunction with calcium and helps your bone health. We know that dairy products such as cheese and meats like liver are some of the most popular ways for people to get Vitamin D. But what other options do you have if you're not into these?
Other suggested options including using supplements or increasing your exposure to sunlight.
Since you need to exercise caution when spending time in the sun, using a supplement can help greatly. There are even supplements that come with Vitamin D and calcium combined, making it easier for you to get all your nutrients at once.
If you're unsure, speak with your doctor and learn about the benefits of taking vitamin D. You'll likely notice an increase in energy and feel confident knowing that you're taking as much care of yourself as possible.
Cut Back on Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking and alcohol are bad habits that many people adopt over the course of their lifetime. While these habits are easy to acquire, it's important to break them as soon as possible to avoid further complications.
Smoking causes bone loss and can speed up the process of osteoporosis. Besides leading to diseases such as cancer, smoking becomes a costly habit that can cause problems for your teeth and lungs.
You're more likely to develop pneumonia if you're a smoker. If you have other health conditions, such as osteoporosis, this can worsen the problem.
Alcohol and osteoporosis react with one another, too. You'll have reduced calcium and vitamin D, making it difficult for your bones and body to stay healthy.
If you're worried about developing osteoporosis, it's time to cut back on drinking. Consider having a glass of red wine once a day instead of drinking hard liquor or beer.
If that's too tempting, think about cutting back altogether. This makes it easier to keep up with your health and has the added benefit of making it easier to lose weight in the long run.
Make Sleep a Priority
Lack of sleep is linked to many problems such as weight gain. While most folks want to avoid weight gain for visual purposes, things can go down a darker path once you realize that weight gain and bone problems go hand-in-hand.
Osteoporosis and carrying additional weight can make it harder to work out. This can seem almost next-to-impossible when you're trying to get rid of excess weight and make a lifestyle change.
To prevent problems, work out regularly, which should help you feel tired enough at the end of the day. Develop a ritual that helps you go to sleep, such as playing music, taking a warm bath, or reading a book.
The easier it is to go to bed, the quicker you'll get to sleep.
If possible, try to keep a regular bedtime. This helps your body get used to the process of slowing down and going to sleep at a certain time.
Discuss Your Medications With Your Doctor
Medications can play a role in making it easier to get osteoporosis, depending on what you're taking. Prednisone and similar drugs that get prescribed to individuals as anti-inflammatories for arthritis are the chief culprits of this problem.
These medications cut back on the amount of calcium your body gets, making it easier to develop osteoporosis. You might not even be aware of this, depending on how long you've been taking the medication, or what your condition was before you were prescribed it.
If possible, cut back to lower amounts. This has shown to decrease the risk of osteoporosis, while still allowing you to get the pain relief you're seeking.
It's also possible to have a similar anti-inflammatory injected directly into your join, so you're not dealing with the issue of losing calcium while still getting pain relief. Talk to your doctor and see if either one of these is the right option for you.
Tell Stress to Take a Hike
Stress is a culprit that's present in everybody's life, regardless of who we are or what we do. When you're stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol.
This can have negative effects on your bones such as inflammation that doesn't go away. When you're dealing with non-stop inflammation, it can become chronic, resulting in the need for anti-inflammation drugs, as we discussed earlier.
Therefore, it's important to combat stress in any way necessary.
Some anti-stress activities that have helped others in the past include:
Developing a new skill or hobby
Making time for relaxation
Time with family and friends
Consider what the sources of stress are in your life. If it's your job, consider switching to a new one. Make time for yourself throughout the day so you're not constantly overburdened with problems.
If you don't take regular vacations or days off, know that it's important to do so.
While it's impossible to cut all stress from your life, there are techniques and tricks you can use to make it bearable. This is key in preventing inflammation from happening, which can then correlate with osteoporosis.
Have Hormone Levels Checked
If you suspect your hormone levels are off or otherwise causing problems, it's a wise idea to pay a visit to your doctor. They can confirm if your hormones are too high or low, and help you balance them as needed.
In women, hormones such as estrogen and progesterone need to remain balanced, in order for your bones to stay strong. This is because as we age, our bones go through a redeveloping process.
If your bones aren't able to get the balance they need, you put yourself at risk for developing osteoporosis. Medication and other options can correct this and prevent you from developing other issues that can affect your health.
Discuss your options with your doctor and see which is best for you. The more proactive you are against osteoporosis, the easier it is to prevent it from occurring in your life as you get older.
Learn More About How to Prevent Osteoporosis
As your body ages, there's a lot to consider in what goes into keeping you healthy. If you're wondering how to prevent osteoporosis, know that you can apply several different methods to your life.
Increasing exercise and focusing on certain types of exercises can keep your weight down and make your bones stronger. Changing your diet and putting a focus on clean eating makes it easier to get enough foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium.
Getting proper sleep and finding ways to reduce the stress can change your lifestyle for the better.
Finally, having hormone levels checked and talking about medications with your doctor put you back in control of what's going into your body. The more you know about the medications you're taking, the easier it is to make an informed decision.
If you're curious about how you can take care of your body, check out our blog post on the importance of getting regular blood screenings. See about the newest exercise tips and ways you can stretch your body to keep yourself in shape.
Focusing on your health can assist you in preventing osteoporosis from becoming part of your life. Get a head start today, and see how you can live your best life with the right type of healthy living lifestyle.