Health & Medical Muscles & Bones & Joints Diseases

How to Build Bone Density

    How to Build Bone Density

    • 1). Engage in regular, weight-bearing exercise to increase bone strength and density. Activities such as stair climbing, walking, jogging, weight lifting and tennis require your muscles to work against gravity. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, engaging in these activities for 30 minutes, three or more times each week, can help prevent bone loss and increase bone strength.

    • 2). Eat a diet high in calcium, regardless of your age. Peak bone mass is obtained during the 30s, which means even young women must take steps to protect their bones. Calcium-rich foods include milk, yogurt, canned fish with bones, cheese and dark green leafy vegetables, according to the University of Arizona.

    • 3). Include foods in your diet containing vitamin D, such as egg yolks, liver, saltwater fish and fortified milk. The current recommended daily amount of vitamin D is between 400 and 800 IU, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

    • 4). Spend 15 minutes each day in the sun. This small amount of sun exposure is not enough to cause negative effects, but is sufficient in most cases to increase your body's level of vitamin D.

    • 5). Supplement with calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium if your dietary sources of these important minerals are insufficient. If you are on a restricted diet due to allergies or lactose intolerance, are vegetarian,or have been diagnosed with other health conditions, you should speak with your doctor about undergoing blood work to test your levels of these nutrients.

    • 6). Take medications to increase bone density if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia. A diagnosis of osteopenia is given when bone density is subnormal, but is not yet reduced enough for a diagnosis of osteoporosis. A number of medications have been approved by the FDA to prevent or treat osteoporosis, including bisphosphonates, calcitonin, raloxifene, teriparatide, and estrogens.

    • 7). Have your hormone levels checked if you are a post-menopausal woman. Loss of estrogen following menopause reduces bone density and increases bone loss. Hormone replacement therapy might help rebuild bone mass, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

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