Hey y’all! With the New Year right around the corner and folks starting to think about making resolutions for 2023 and beyond, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about some healthy lifestyle practices that can make a difference in preventing osteoporosis!
Osteoporosis is a condition that can affect our bones, and it is characterized by a serious decrease in bone density and bone strength. This vulnerability can lead to broken bones (such as hip or vertebral fractures) that have serious consequences. While each of us will experience a normal and expected decline in bone density as we age, there are everyday things we can pay attention to in order to maintain bone strength and avoid osteoporosis.
Firstly, vitamin D and calcium are both essential nutrients in the process of bone mineralization. While most people obtain vitamin D and calcium through their diet, they may be chronically insufficient, especially as the recommended daily intake for both vitamin D and calcium increases as we age. Prolonged vitamin D and calcium deficiency can increase the risk of osteoporosis, especially in folks with other risk factors such as menopause. Knowing what your levels of vitamin D are can help guide you and your doctor to decide on appropriate vitamin D and calcium supplementation.
Secondly, regular exercise, including both resistance exercise and aerobic exercise, has been shown to promote bone density and prevent osteoporosis strongly. The earlier in life we develop a regular habit of exercise, the more these benefits are seen in preventing bone density loss as we age. Start off with exercising at a realistic level that suits your busy schedule but aim to achieve at least five 30-minute sessions of moderately intense activity each week.
Finally, our Texas Center for Health OB/GYNS are a great source of information and insight into assessing your personal risk of osteoporosis and can help you obtain and interpret the results of bone density screening tests such as the DEXA scan, or bloodwork such as vitamin D levels. Preventing osteoporosis and maintaining healthy habits is a lifelong endeavor, and we are excited to be a part of your team toward this goal!