In the U.S., an estimated 2 million preventable fractures occur every year. Fractures cause pain, decrease mobility and can even lead to death in some cases with the elderly. The main cause of preventable fractures is osteoporosis, which silently robs the density in bones, making them more fragile.
What you can do
1. If you are a woman over 65, get a bone density test. This test will tell you how strong your bones are. If you are 45 or older, take a quick online test to determine your risk at americanbonehealth.org tools-and-resources/risk-calculator. Print your results and talk to your doctor.
2. Bones need calcium and calcium needs vitamin D. The calcium requirement (food+ supplements) varies by age, but generally its 1,000-1,200 mg per day. Girls, adults over 70 and anyone who has broken a bone needs 1,000-2,000 units of vitamin D per day, and the best source of vitamin D is through a supplement.
3. Focus on three types of exercises: back extensions, squats and balance. These exercises will strengthen back and leg muscles, improve posture to support the spine bones and reduce the chance of a fall. You can incorporate these movements through simple activities every day.
Learn more at americanbonehealth.org.
Kathleen Cody, is the Executive Director of American Bone Health, a community-based, national health organization dedicated to eliminating osteoporosis through education, collaboration and community outreach. She has over 40 years of executive management experience and has consulted health care organizations on organizational effectiveness and professional development.