May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month.
I don’t know about you, but I always associated osteoporosis with frail old ladies who didn’t get enough calcium when they were younger. The fact is everyone is at risk for developing osteoporosis–young or old, male or female. And some people are more prone to osteoporosis than others, given hereditary factors beyond their control.
However, your lifestyle choices also play a role, and the earlier you pay attention to factors such as calcium intake and getting enough exercise, the better your chances of having healthy, strong bones.
Today’s Five on Friday suggests five simple ways to reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
- Get enough calcium. For instance: “Men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 need 1,000milligrams of calcium a day. This daily amount increases to 1,200 milligrams when women turn 50 and men turn 70.” Primary sources of calcium include dairy products, soy products, certain vegetables and calcium-fortified grains and juices.
- Increase your Vitamin D, which helps you absorb calcium. Sunlight, certain foods, and supplements are the main sources of Vitamin D.
- Focus on strength training and weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or running. Cardiovascular and low-impact workouts are good for you too, but they don’t strengthen bones.
- Don’t drink excessively. According to doctors, alcohol can limit your body’s ability to absorb calcium. Try to avoid having more than two alcoholic drinks per day.
- Don’t smoke. Medical research has shown that tobacco can reduce bone mass.
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? By the way, today (May 4th) is also Orange Juice Day, so go ahead and enjoy a glass, preferably calcium-fortified.
According to some sources it’s also No Pants Day and International Respect for Chickens Day. I’m not touching either one of those.
Have a great weekend!