Load up on greens
“Dairy often gets the most attention for calcium and vitamin D, but green vegetables are also a very strong source. Plus they provide fiber, other essential vitamins and are low in calories,” says Jeremy Alland, MD, a sports medicine and primary care physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. Some, like beet greens, are considered a superfood.
Experiment with activity
By now, it’s clear that staying active is one of the most important things you can do to keep bones strong. That’s why it’s so key to find an activity that you absolutely love. Figure out what it is. Try a boxing class, sign up to run a 5k, grab your neighbor and try to find fun new walking routes in your area. “If you find a load bearing exercise that you truly enjoy and you can easily fit into your schedule, you will much more likely to repeat it on a daily basis,” says Dr. Lin. And consistency is what will build bones.
Make sure you get the power duo
Peak bone mass happens before age 30, says Dr. Alland. “Many of the interventions discussed to prevent osteoporosis and promote bone health should be implemented when you are younger,” he says. If you have an adolescent at home, make sure they’re getting about 1300 mg of calcium through food and 600 IU of vitamin D per day. These are the signs you’re not getting enough calcium.
Keep it clean
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“I hear all the stories about patients tripping over toys, slipping on waxed floors, and tripping in the middle of the night going to the bathroom,” says Dr. Lin. Keep the floors tidy, use non-slip bath mats, and set up night lights in strategic areas to help avoid a fall.