Health

How to reduce your risk of getting osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes the thinning and weakening of bones, leading them to be more prone to fractures. Here are some ways to reduce your risk of getting it.

EAT ENOUGH CALCIUM

Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. The recommended intake a day is 500mg to 1000mg - about two glasses of milk a day is a safe bet with a balanced diet including beans and leafy greens.

Women reach peak bone mass around the age of 30, so it helps to increase your calcium store before that.

GET YOUR VITAMIN D

You need vitamin D to promote absorption and regulate the levels of calcium. The best way to increase vitamin D intake is to get enough sunlight.

You can also eat more salmon, tuna and herring. It is also a good idea to have less than three cups of coffee a day and drink alcohol in moderation, as these can reduce the absorption of calcium and lead to bone loss.

STOP SMOKING

Tobacco decreases bone density, increases fracture risks and makes healing more difficult.

EXERCISE RIGHT

Bodyweight exercises make your body feel just enough pressure, stimulating osteoblasts (bone cells in charge of bone growth), which encourages the body to build more bone.

Try using the elliptical machine, stair climber and doing low-impact aerobics. Higher intensity activities such as running and skipping can be beneficial for bone health too, as long as form and support are in place.

WATCH YOUR STEP

You can reduce the chances of getting osteoporosis, fractures and early bone damage by avoiding unnecessary harm to your body. This simply means to look where you going. Also, avoid shoes with unstable platforms and open heels as they might lead to slipping and sliding.

This article first appeared in Shape (www.shape.com.sg)

MEDICAL & HEALTH