Keeping bones healthy is important. Our bones give us structure, protect our organs, help our muscles to move, and store calcium in our body.
As we age, new bone is made and old bone is broken down. After age 30, we start to lose more bone than we make. The risk of developing osteoporosis (where bones become weak and brittle and are at greater risk of breaking) depends on how much strong and healthy bone our bodies build as children and teenagers, and what steps we take as adults to protect bone health.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO KEEP YOUR BONES HEALTHY
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Get enough calcium. For those age 19-50, Osteoporosis Canada recommends 1000 mg of calcium. For those age 50+, they recommend 1200 mg per day. Note: you can get to much calcium (which can cause medical complications) so it is best to stick to the these daily amounts.
Get enough vitamin d. Osteoporosis Canada recommends vitamin D supplementation all year round. For those age 19-50, they recommend 400 – 1,000 IU daily. For those age 50+ or those at high risk (someone with osteoporosis, multiple fractures, or a condition that affects vitamin D absorption), they recommend 800 – 2,000 IU daily.
Be physically active on a regular basis. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, or climbing stairs are best.
Avoid tobacco or talk to your doctor about help quitting if you already smoke.
Limit alcohol intake to less than two drinks per day.
Talk to your family doctor if you have questions about how to best keep your bones healthy, questions about vitamins or supplements, help minimizing tobacco or alcohol, and/or physical activity.
To learn more, click on the links below.
Osteoporosis Canada Website - This website has information on bone health, calcium & vitamin d, nutrition, exercise, and osteoporosis.
OrthoInfo - American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Website -This website has information about healthy bones at every age.