What you can do to prevent osteoporosis

July 28, 2015

Osteoporosis causes bones to become thin and brittle. Pay special attention if you're over 50, have a family history of osteoporosis or are a woman who has gone through menopause. Here are some ways to protect yourself.

What you can do to prevent osteoporosis

Do squats every day

  • Squats are particularly beneficial for your hips, which are especially prone to fracture.
  • Slowly lower yourself into an imaginary chair and stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Don't let your knees extend beyond your toes.

Skip rope

  • It's one of the best all-around exercises for building bone.
  • Some skipping ropes measure not only the number of jumps you complete, but how many calories you burn.
  • Be careful when you start, though. This exercise requires coordination, and if your bones already happen to be thin, the last thing you want to do is fall.

Safe sun

You need 15 minutes of sun exposure, without sunscreen, for your body to make vitamin D for bone health.

Take the right kind of calcium

Calcium citrate, for instance, is more expensive, but can be absorbed on an empty stomach. Calcium carbonate, the cheapest and most common supplement, is absorbed best with food, particularly acidic foods such as citrus juice or fruit.

Keep your bedroom dark

You'll sleep much better without ambient light, and sleep is important for bone. Much of your old bone is replaced by new during sleep.

Walk for 30 minutes

Menopausal women who walked 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) — about 30 minutes — a week took four to seven years longer to lose the same amount of bone as women who didn't walk at all. Hit the road!

Try tai chi

In studies, tai chi cut the risk of falling by nearly half and reduced the rate of fractures even in people who had falls. Practise 10 to 15 minutes at a time, once or twice a week, to gain the benefits.

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