Osteoporosis can weaken your bones and make them susceptible to fractures. It affects millions of people worldwide, especially the elderly, because their bones are more fragile. This disease is often silent and may go undetected until a bone is broken. Fortunately, an orthopedic surgeon can recommend steps to prevent or slow down its progression. Here are three tips that you can incorporate into your daily routine to prevent osteoporosis, and maintain strong and healthy bones for years to come:

Exercise Your Bones

Exercise is a vital component of maintaining healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis. Regular exercises can improve your bone density and strength, and make them less likely to become brittle and fracture. Exercise can also maintain muscle mass, which supports and protects your bones. When you exercise, you create an impact on your bones that encourages them to grow slower and denser. This is because physical activity stimulates the cells responsible for bone formation. 

Weight-bearing exercises are particularly beneficial for preventing osteoporosis. They include activities that require you to move against gravity while supporting your body weight, such as walking, dancing, jogging, or playing tennis. Weight-bearing exercises put stress on the bones and make them grow stronger. Resistant exercises can also help. When you lift weights, your muscles strengthen and offer greater support to your bones. 

Apart from weight-bearing and resistance exercises, balance exercises can also be instrumental in preventing osteoporosis. As you age, your balance and coordination may decline, increasing your risk of falls and fractures. When you incorporate balancing exercises into your routine, you’ll improve stability. Exercises that involve standing on one foot, walking heel to toe, or practicing yoga can improve your balance and coordination, and prevent you from falling.

Get Calcium and Vitamin D Daily

Calcium and vitamin D play a critical role in the development of healthy bones, and in preventing osteoporosis. Calcium is the primary building block of bones, while vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. Without these nutrients, your bones can become weak and prone to fractures. 

During adolescence, when bones are growing rapidly, the body needs more calcium to support bone development. If you don’t get enough calcium during this critical period, your bones may fail to reach the maximum potential for strength and density, increasing the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Consuming foods that are high in calcium, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and leafy greens like kale and spinach, can help you replenish this vital component. Calcium supplements can also be an option if you have trouble getting enough calcium from your diet. 

The primary source of vitamin D is sunlight. However, it can be challenging to obtain adequate vitamin D from only sunlight, especially during the cold months of the winter when the sun is weaker. Luckily you can find it in foods, such as fish, egg yolks, fortified milk, and orange juice.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking has several negative effects on the bones. It decreases bone density and weakens the bone’s ability to absorb calcium. The nicotine in cigarettes can also damage bone cells, leading to a reduction in bone mineral density. If your bones are weak, you may be vulnerable to osteoporosis. Avoiding smoking will help you maintain your body’s calcium levels and prevent bone loss. 

The Bottom Line

Preventing osteoporosis is essential for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. While the disease can affect anyone, these three tips can help you to maintain strong bones and reduce your risk of fractures.