Amy McGory: One out of every two women over the age of 50 will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis. Here are few simple ways to protect your bones for life.
First, get your calcium. Post menopausal women need 1200 mg of calcium daily to build and maintain healthy bones. The best food sources are low-fat dairy products like yogurt, milk and cheese. Keep in mind that your body can only handle 500-800 mg of calcium in 168 hour window. So a daily 500 mg calcium supplement can help you come closer to your daily requirement.
Remember, your body also needs adequate vitamin D levels to absorb calcium. Look for supplements containing both vitamin K & vitamin D3 which will boost absorption and prevent calcium loss. Second, cut back on caffeine. Certain studies have linked high doses of coffee to an increase risk of hip fractures in older women. How much is too much? Try limiting yourself to 2-3 eight ounce cups per day.
Still need that afternoon pick me up? Well, switch to tea. One study shows that women who drink one cup of black tea daily had a 5% higher bone density decreasing fracture risk up to 20%.
Third, pump it up. Exercise will help strengthen your bones. Moderate exercise such as lifting weights or brisk walking for 30 minutes each day can help counteract age related bone loss and strengthen your muscles to improve balance and lower chances of a fall related fracture.
Start these good bone building habits today and keep your bones strong and healthy for the long run.