Osteoporosis is one of the most common and most debilitating conditions in women over 50. In fact, about one in five women in this age group will develop the bone-thinning disease, which causes fractures, pain, and loss of up to six inches in height.
We all know that calcium is key to developing bone density, but you may be surprised to learn that there are many other ways to fight this dreaded condition.
Weight-bearing exercise is especially good at building bone density. This includes anything that works against gravity, such as walking, jogging, running, weight training, or push-ups.
Because caffeine interferes with the body's ability to absorb calcium, too much caffeine can lead to bone loss. If you can't live without your morning coffee, use milk instead of nondairy creamers to counteract the calcium loss.
Reduce Sodium Intake
Research has shown a relationship between a diet high in sodium and bone loss.
Smoking weakens bones and reduces the body's ability to prevent and recover from injury.
Cut Back on Sodas
While researchers don't know the specific reason or ingredient, those that drink sodas regularly tend to have thinner bones.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb and use the calcium you give it, so make sure you're getting enough through sunlight, foods such as fortified milk and cereals, and/or a supplement.
While up to two drinks daily can actually help prevent bone thinning, more than that make leave you at higher risk for osteoporosis.
And, of course, make sure you get enough calcium either through your diet, or through supplements. Don't overdo it though, as too much of the mineral can lead to kidney stones.