Bone Density Maintenance
Bones are the support system of the body. It is vital to keep them strong and healthy. Bones are continuously being broken down and rebuilt in tiny amounts. Before about age 30, a person reaches peak bone mass. After age 30, the bone building balance naturally shifts and more bone is lost than gained. Some people have strong bones because of factors like genetics, diet and how much bone they built up as teenagers. Others who do not have strong bones get afflicted by osteoporosis. Their bones get weak and brittle and become susceptible to fracture more easily. The disease is most common in postmenopausal women over the age of 65 and in men over the age of 70.
Although all this talk of menopause and older age makes the threat of osteoporosis seem like a long way off, know that once it sets in, it is extremely hard to reverse. Since there is no way of knowing that you will develop osteoporosis, the best way to counteract it, is to take steps earlier in life to beef up bone mass (and prevent bone loss) as much as possible.
Measures to Maintain Bone Density: Diet
- Boost calcium consumption by consuming good quantity of dairy products, or spinach & green vegetables.
- Vitamin D is essential for Calcium absorption. Vitamin D is formed by the body with exposure to Sun. There are very few foods rich in this vitamin, hence taking supplement may be warranted, in case one is not getting enough exposure to Sun.
- Vitamin K. While Vitamin D stimulates Calcium absorption in the intestines, Vitamin K reduces the amount of Calcium excreted by the body. It is found in spinach & green vegetables.
- Potassium neutralizes acids that remove Calcium from the body. It is found in Bananas, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes & yogurt.
- Higher consumption of coffee & tea accelerate bone loss. More than 18 ounces of coffee per day can accelerate bone loss by negatively interacting with Vitamin D.
- Alcohol.Heavy consumption causes bone loss. More than 2 drinks per day are high for men & 1 drink for women.
- Smoking prevents the body from efficiently absorbing calcium, thus reducing bone mass.
Exercise to Maintain Bone Density
Living a sedentary lifestyle is considered a risk factor for osteoporosis. Good exercises to maintain bone density are running, walking, jumping rope and stair climbing. Resistance training (strength building exercises) positively improve bone health. Exercises like cycling & swimming are not good for maintaining bone density.
Healthy diet & exercise are vital to maintain bone density. We have to be concerned about the subject, whatever our age; because once the problem starts there are no remedies available. In the case of bone density,