A Woman’s Guide to Building Stronger Bones

A whopping 60 percent of osteoporosis induced spinal fractures are silent and painless with symptoms that may go unnoticed.

Did you know women lose up to 20 percent of their total bone density around the 5-7 years of menopause? This is due to the decrease in the levels of estrogen. Additionally, with advancing age, every individual experience rapid loss of bone mass, increased weakness, fracture and osteoporosis risk.

Bones store 99 percent of the calcium content you require for bodily functions like blood clotting, muscle functions and nerve movements. Before hitting 30, women must maintain the health of their bones by taking stringent measures beforehand that include:

 

  1. Increasing your Calcium Intake

A balanced diet with adequate calcium about 1,000-1,200 mg every day, preferably from dietary sources like seeds, organic dairy, pulses, lentils, yoghurt and so on rather than processed supplements. According to the Institute of Medicine, women over 50 should get the upper limit of this daily calcium intake.

  1. Consuming Vitamin D-rich Foods & Supplements  

National Osteoporosis Foundation’s daily vitamin D recommendation for women below 50 stands at 400 to 800 units and those above 50 require 800 to 1,000 units. Whether you soak in vitamins by sitting under the sun for about 15 minutes every day or consume foods packed with vitamin D like fatty fish, soy milk, oysters and fortified cereals or juices. You can even consult a general physician for vitamin D supplements to maintain optimal bone health.

  1. Getting Adequate Physical Activity & Exercise

Get up and moving, physical activities help build muscle strength and endurance. You must perform any type of fitness training for at least 20 minutes 5 days a week to harness its benefits. Weight lifting, walking, running, jogging, dancing, step aerobics, tennis are excellent techniques that help you build stronger and denser bones.

  1. Cutting back on Caffeine, Alcohol & Cigarettes

You must take vital steps to cut back on excessive intake of caffeine and alcohol, as it stops your body from calcium absorption allowing to be disposed of quickly. Every beverage from coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks to energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine. If you consume alcohol, you must keep a check on the amount and stick to drinking only one glass. Much like caffeine and alcohol, even salt and sodium foods may lower your calcium levels while speeding up bone loss.

The Ultimate Tip: Start young… Experts advise young women, to start early and keep control of their bone and overall health, long before menopause and pregnancy.