6 Things You Can Do For Stronger, Healthier Bones

“All women will experience bone loss.”

Woman with bone lossPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

As we age, it’s normal to be more concerned about your bone health. This is because at the early stages of bone loss, we often don’t notice any symptoms. More than 60 percent of spine fractures due to osteoporosis are silent, meaning that they present no pain and the only change you may notice is height loss or a hunched posture.

If you have had significant height loss (more than two centimetres), this may indicate a spine fracture that you may not be aware of and you should see your family doctor for further evaluation (for example, getting a spine X-ray).

Women And Bone Loss

All women will experience bone loss during the transition period into menopause due to decreased estrogen levels. This rapid bone loss can occur for several years. In addition to this, with advancing age and especially after 65, we all experience a gradual loss of bone mass over time and weakening bone strength, which increases our risk of fractures.

Incorporate these six healthy living tips to promote bone health and prevent fractures caused by osteoporosis.

  1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet with adequate calcium (about 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams per day, preferably from dietary sources rather than just supplements).
  2.  Take a vitamin D supplement. For most people in North America, this would be about 800 to 1,000 units per day.
  3.  Get adequate physical activity and exercise that incorporates muscle strength training at least twice a week, moderate aerobic activity more than 150 minutes a week and balance and posture training daily. Just walking isn’t enough.
  4.  Learn spine-sparing strategies to avoid spine fractures.
  5. Follow fall-prevention strategies.
  6. Avoid smoking and excess alcohol consumption.

Dr. Sandra Kim is the medical director at Women’s College Hospital’s Centre for Osteoporosis & Bone Health in Toronto. Follow them on Twitter @WCHospital