By making healthy lifestyle changes, you can help prevent falls and fractures.
If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it’s important to protect yourself against fractures. In addition to taking any medications your doctor has prescribed, there are things you can do every day to help strengthen your bones and prevent fractures.
Get enough calcium and vitamin D.
If we don’t get enough calcium, our bodies will take it from our bones. That’s why it’s important to include calcium-rich foods in your diet. This includes:
- Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese
- Some leafy green vegetables, like kale or collard greens
- Fish, such as salmon with bones and sardines
- Calcium-fortified breakfast foods
Your doctor may recommend supplements if you don’t get enough calcium from what you eat.
Vitamin D is also important because it helps the body absorb calcium. There are three ways to get vitamin D: sunlight, diet and supplements. Vitamin D deficiencies can be caused by lack of exposure to sunlight (including wearing sunscreen), having certain intestinal conditions like celiac or inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and certain medications. Talk to your doctor or CVS Specialty CareTeam about whether vitamin D or calcium supplements could benefit you and how much you should take.
Get regular exercise.
Weight-bearing exercises and muscle-strengthening exercises are both important for strengthening bones and preventing fractures. They can also improve your balance and help you avoid falls.
Examples of weight-bearing exercises include:
- Walking, running or hiking
- Stair climbing
Examples of muscle-strengthening exercises include:
- Lifting weights
- Using resistance bands
- Yoga or Pilates
Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which exercises are safe and will benefit you. Find something you enjoy doing so you’re more likely to stick with it. Taking group classes or finding a friend to exercise with may help make it easier to keep up a routine.
Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol.
In addition to the other adverse effects they can have on your health, smoking and heavy drinking (more than 2-3 drinks per day) can accelerate bone loss.
Heavy alcohol intake can also potentially increase the risk of falling.
If you have questions or need advice on lifestyle changes to benefit your bone health, talk to your doctor or your CVS Specialty CareTeam.