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How Can I Increase My Bone Density?

  • Category: Bone Health
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Angela Roy, Bone Health Specialist
How Can I Increase My Bone Density?

Did you know that by the time you hit your mid-20s, you have the greatest amount of bone you will have in your life? This phase is called “peak bone mass,” meaning you have as much as 90% of your adult bone mass. So the key is to focus on bone health before this point.

The more bone you can build in the early years the less likely you are to have osteoporosis later in life. (Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle.) Think of your bones as a calcium bank: the more you deposit in the bank, the greater your balance. When you start withdrawing from that bank later in life, you want to start with a strong bank balance!

Diet plays a big part in building bone health.Calcium and vitamin D are important, but don’t forget about magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K. If you don’t like milk, it’s easy to get calcium from other foods like cheese and yogurt, almonds, and green leafy vegetables.

Make sure your diet has a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts/legumes. Try to avoid high sodium foods, including many processed and canned foods. Eating too much salt can cause the body to lose calcium. Also make sure you are getting plenty of protein in your diet; adequate protein is essential for bone health throughout life.

Muscles get stronger when you use them, and the same applies to bone. The more work they do, the stronger they get. Any kind of physical exercise is great, but the best ones for young people are weight-bearing activities like walking, running, hiking, dancing, tennis, basketball, gymnastics, and soccer.

Though you certainly wouldn’t expect your adolescent to be a smoker, that is actually the prime time the habit can start. Most people who use tobacco products start before they finish high school. Smoking is harmful to bone tissue, just another negative impact the habit has. Studies have even linked smoking to higher risk of fracture.

Osteoporosis is called a “silent disease” because generally you won’t have any symptoms until a bone is broken. That’s why prevention is so important. If you have kids, spend the effort now to help them build strong bones.

Angela Roy, PA-C
Bone Health
Baton Rouge General Physicians - Bone Health Center
(225) 237-1810