Bones play many roles in the body — providing structure, protecting organs, anchoring muscles and storing calcium. It’s a fact of life: As you age, your bones lose their density & one becomes more prone to injury. While it's important to build strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, you can take steps during adulthood to protect bone health, too.
Protecting your bone health is easier than you think.
1. Eat calcium-rich foods
Milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich natural sources of calcium. In addition to dairy product food rich in calcium are dark leafy green vegetables like broccoli& Collard green, fish with bones such as salmon, sardines or whitebait, almonds, fortified tofu and soy milk.
2. Take calcium supplements
The daily allowance for calcium is 1,000 -1200 mg a day during your 20s, 30s, and 40s. But your need rises as you age. Check with your doctor before starting supplements to find out what amount is right for you.
One can calculate individual calcium requirement at http://www.medindia.net/patients/calculators/daily-calcium-chart.asp
Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Calcium
Age Male Female Pregnant Lactating
0–6 months* 200 mg 200 mg
7–12 months* 260 mg 260 mg
1–3 years 700 mg 700 mg
4–8 years 1,000 mg 1,000 mg
9–13 years 1,300 mg 1,300 mg
14–18 years 1,300 mg 1,300 mg
19–50 years 1,000 mg 1,000 mg 1,000 mg 1,000 mg
51–70 years 1,000 mg 1,200 mg
71+ years 1,200 mg 1,200 mg
3. Add Vit-D to your day
To help absorb calcium, most adults need 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Combined calcium-vitamin D pills usually do not meet this requirement. Taking a vitamin D supplement will ensure you meet your daily needs.
4. Start weight-bearing exercises
People who are physically inactive have a higher risk of osteoporosis than do their more-active counterparts. To boost your bone strength, try an exercise that “loads” or compresses your bones- Running, jogging, high-impact aerobics, repetitive stair climbing, dancing, tennis, and basketball are best for building bones. Be sure to clear any exercise plans with your doctor first.
5. Don’t smoke, and don’t drink excessively
Research suggests that tobacco use contributes to weak bones. Similarly, regularly having more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases the risk of osteoporosis, possibly because alcohol can interfere with the body's ability to absorb calcium
6. Get your bone mineral density tested
Doctors can get a quick and painless “snapshot” of bone health using a simple X-ray test called DXA. This test measures bone mineral density and helps determine risks of osteoporosis and fracture
7. Consider medication
Perimenopausal women may consider hormone therapy to increase waning estrogen levels, which are linked to bone loss. And women and men diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis can take various medications to prevent dangerous hip and spine fractures. Talk to your doctor about options such as bisphosphonates or teriparatide