With changes in modern medicine have come changes in the average life span of adults--and because of this, more and more people are becoming concerned about bone health. This article gives a brief description of how your bones change as you age, and describes what can be done to prevent or eliminate weak bones from developing.
Loss of Bone Mass with Age
As you age, you are almost guaranteed to lose some of the bone mass that you had as a young adult--and for women, the amount of bone mass that will be lost will be even greater due to the loss certain hormones that help to maintain bone mass. Less bone mass leads to weaker bones, which become brittle and can lead to fractures, breaks or even death. Though it can be difficult to maintain the amount of bone mass that you had as a young adult, there are still certain things you can do to prevent any further bone loss from happening.
Improving Bone Health through Diet
One of the best ways to maintain or even increase your bone mass is through proper nutrition. Bones are primarily composed of calcium, which is found is milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. In addition, women who are lactose intolerant, vegetarian or simply don't like dairy products can still get adequate calcium from spinach, kale and other leafy green vegetables.
Improving Bone Health through Supplements
These days, there seems to be a supplement for anything--and there is, in fact, a supplement for calcium. But, how effective is this supplement? Not very, according to research. Studies have found that the calcium contained within these supplements is not always effectively stored in bones or teeth, but instead will cause calcium buildup in arteries or the heart. This can result in serious cardiovascular problems, including heart attack or even death.
Improving Bone Health through Exercise
Exercise is another great way to improve bone health. While eating foods that contain high amounts of calcium is important for the storage of calcium in bone, research has found that repetitive micro trauma to the bone caused by weight-bearing exercise actually leads to the development of stronger bones. Weight-bearing exercises are those in which your feet are touching the ground--for example, walking, hiking or climbing a flight of stairs are all weight-bearing exercises, whereas biking or swimming are non weight-bearing exercises. While biking and swimming can improve your cardiovascular system and help you lose weight, they will not necessarily help to increase your bone mass.
Talk with Your Doctor
If you are a woman who is concerned about your bone health, it is important to talk with your doctor, nurse or health care provider before implementing any changes in your lifestyle. Your health care provider will be able to tell you if you are at risk for the development of osteoporosis, and what specific steps should be taken to prevent it. Always remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!