Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
Whether you are 25 or 75, strong, healthy bones are important. There are things you can do at any age to ensure good bone health and prevent or slow bone loss and osteoporosis. As a Houston orthopedic doctor, I have seen the negative results of not having good bone health, and I want to help you stop it before it starts! The following five tips may help maintain or improve the good health of your bones.
5 Tips for Better Bone Health
- Get your bone density checked. Starting at age 65, you should have your bone density checked with a simple test called a DXA scan. This painless procedure measures how likely you are to suffer a break or osteoporosis by providing a baseline to measure future scans and bone loss against.
- Quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake. Smoking causes a significant loss to bone density at the rate of two percent per year. Drinking alcohol excessively also causes bone loss at two percent per year. But in this case, the sum is more than the whole of its parts…combining nicotine and alcohol results in eight percent loss every year! So, put the cigarettes out and reduce your drinking to a couple of drinks per week.
- Exercise is important, but the right type is crucial. All exercise is good for your body. But to build strong bones and slow bone loss, weight-bearing exercises are necessary. These include walking, jogging and climbing stairs.
- Get the right nutrients. We all know calcium is important for helping kids build strong bones. But it doesn’t stop being important once the growing stops. Calcium is also important for maintaining strong, healthy bones. Prioritize calcium in your diet for better bone health. Speak to your Houston orthopedic physician about adding supplements if you are not getting enough calcium through food.
- Get some sun. That’s right… sun is good for your bones! Spending a few minutes each day outside helps your body produce vitamin D, which is critical for helping your body absorb calcium and keep your bones dense. If you cannot absorb adequate vitamin D through natural sun exposure, select foods and supplements may help.
Schedule Your Appointment With a Houston Orthopedic Physician
To discuss your bone health with an orthopedic physician in downtown Houston, call Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics at (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.