Did you know that up to 10% of your bone mass can be lost within five years following menopause? Oestrogen, a female hormone that protects your bones, drops substantially during menopause, causing bone loss. This elevates your chance of getting osteoporosis – a silent disease that makes bones fragile, increasing your risk of fractures that can be life-threatening. Here’s what all mothers need to know about osteoporosis prevention this mother’s day.
1. Ensure sufficient calcium intake
Your body begins breaking down your bones when you are deficient in calcium. As such, it is crucial for you to get enough calcium from your diet to maintain strong bones. Examples of high calcium foods include milk and dairy products, dark, leafy greens (e.g. broccoli and kale) and almonds.
2. Ensure adequate consumption of vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential as well as it assists your body in the absorption of calcium. Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish (e.g. salmon and sardine), egg yolks and cod liver oil. Going outdoors for approximately 20 minutes daily can also help most people’s bodies produce sufficient vitamin D.
3. Go for weight-bearing and resistance exercises
To protect yourself against osteoporosis, you should participate in weight-bearing exercises 3 – 4 times weekly. Such exercises include walking, jogging, dancing and playing tennis. Also, you should try out resistance exercises which make use of an elastic band or weights to build your muscles and bone. This can decrease your risk of falling.
4. Quit smoking. Smoking reduces your body’s production of oestrogen and can increase your likelihood of bone loss by 2 times.
5. Avoid drinking alcohol excessively. Having over two drinks daily is associated with greater risk of bone loss.