Peak bone mass occurs at age 20, so it’s very important to build it up during the teen years. However, it’s never too late to take steps to keep your bones strong:
- Do weight bearing exercises, such as walking or using light weights.
- Make sure your diet contains the appropriate level of calcium and Vitamin D. Those under 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium each day and those over should get at least 1,200 mg. Recommended daily requirements for Vitamin D range from 400 to 800 IU (international units).
- Quit smoking. It has a negative impact on bone mineral density and delays fracture healing.
- Keep alcohol consumption low. Drinking can make you more prone to balance issues, causing a fall and possible fracture. Excessive intake interferes with calcium and other hormones which stimulate the body to break down bone, making it weaker and more prone to fracture.
- Avoid excessive caffeine intake. It has a similar effect on bone as alcohol.