Protecting your bones is part of a healthy aging strategy. Talk to your doctor about assessing your risk of fractures and devise a strategy to lower the risk, especially if you’ve had a fracture after age 50, according to the Mayo Clinic Health Letter. A comprehensive approach includes optimizing nutrition, reviewing exercise, safe moving practices, and fall prevention, and taking prescription medications if appropriate.
Lifestyle choices for strong bones
A key factor to maintaining the bone density you have is to make healthy choices to support bone health. These steps are important in both preventing osteoporosis and slowing its progression. They include:
■ Exercise — Weight bearing physical activity such as walking and moderate aerobic exercises can strengthen bones and reduce risk of fracture. Muscle strengthening exercises can help as well. Aim to exercise at least 30 min utes most days of the week. Ask your doctor whether any precautions are recommended, especially if you’re at increased risk of fracture.
■ Eat well — Eat a balanced diet and make certain that you’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D from the food you eat.
■ Don’t smoke — Smoking speeds up bone loss.
■ Limit alcohol — Should you choose to drink, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men 65 and younger.