Bone diseases are a common health issue, affecting millions of people each year. There isn’t any specific cause that leads to a person getting this condition. Still, risk factors can increase your chances of developing bone disease, including factors that may be out of your control, such as your genetics. Suppose you have a family member with bone disease. In that case, you may be at an increased risk of developing the condition yourself. However, there are also lifestyle factors that can further increase your risk. Here are some lifestyle changes you need to make to keep your bones healthy and strong:
Get Enough Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium is essential for strong bones, and vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. You can get calcium from dairy products, but if you want non-dairy options, you can eat leafy green vegetables, salmon, beans, and seeds. Meanwhile, you can get more vitamin D by walking outside in the sunlight or consuming tuna, sardines, and orange juice fortified with vitamin D. By ensuring you get enough calcium and vitamin D, you can reduce your risk of developing bone diseases.
Exercise Regularly and Maintain a Healthy Weight
Weight-bearing exercises like walking, running, and lifting weights help keep your bones strong. They also help improve your balance, making you less likely to fall and injure yourself. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. If you can’t do that all at once, break it up into smaller chunks of time throughout the day. Even 10 minutes here and there will help!
Moreover, you must maintain healthy body weight. Carrying around extra weight puts strain on your bones and joints. This can also lead to other health problems like diabetes and heart disease. If you’re struggling to lose weight, talk to your doctor about a diet and nutrition plan that’s right for you.
Avoid Cigarettes and Alcohol Use
Smoking cigarettes is terrible for your overall health, including your bone health. So if you smoke, now is the time to quit! Also, limit how much alcohol you drink. It would also be ideal if you quit drinking altogether. Too much alcohol can interfere with calcium absorption and increase your risk of falls. This is because alcohol can lead to dizziness and loss of balance. So, it’s better to keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum. This means sticking to a standard serving size of alcohol and limiting intake to one per day for women and two for men.
Protect Your Bones from Falls and Injuries
Falls are one of the leading causes of fractures in older adults. To reduce your risk, ensure your home is well-lit, free of potential tripping hazards, and has grab bars in the bathroom. Likewise, if you can lessen the frequency of your going up and down the stairs, this will also help reduce your risk of a fall. You can do this by ensuring everything you often need is kept on the same floor where you spend most of your time. You should also ensure your floors aren’t slippery by removing rugs or adding nonslip mats. Aside from these, it’s essential to wear comfy and sensible shoes with good traction and use a cane or walker if necessary. Moreover, if you live alone, consider getting a personal alarm system. This can be especially useful if you live in a two-story home.
Get Regular Checkups
As you age, getting regular checkups is important to maintain your overall health. This means visiting your doctor for an annual physical if you’re over 50. During your checkup, your doctor will ask about your medical and family history, so be sure to mention if anyone in your family has had bone diseases. Moreover, your doctor might also recommend tests to better look at your condition, such as bone density scans, MRIs, or X-Rays. This will help them get a better understanding of your case and would allow them to make better informed decisions moving forward regarding your care. For example, your doctor might want to rule out joint deterioration or check for other bone abnormalities. In this case, they would likely recommend for you to get an MRI exam that will show the state of your joints with much more accuracy. It’s important for you to do so because the early detection and treatment of bone disease can help preserve your bones and improve your quality of life.
Making significant lifestyle changes may seem like a lot, but if you take them one step at a time, it’ll soon become second nature. And they’re well worth it when you consider all their benefits. Not only will they help prevent bone disease, but they will also improve your overall health.