An osteoporosis diagnosis can be scary, but how bad your osteoporosis gets depends on how you manage it. Here are some medically proven, natural ways to keep osteoporosis at bay. Try them all together for maximum impact.
Do Weight Bearing Exercise
One of the best things you can do for osteoporosis is engage in as much weight bearing exercise as possible. Start slowly, but build up to at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you are new to exercise or just getting back into it, consult your doctor before beginning.
Weight bearing exercise is any exercise that requires you to move against gravity while being upright. Some low impact exercises include the stair machine, elliptical machine, and walking quickly (outside or inside). Weightlifting also counts as weight bearing exercise and should be including to preserve bone density. If your joints are healthy enough for higher impact exercise, you have a range of options including tennis, hiking, and dancing.
Take Up Yoga
Yoga is a great supplement to whatever exercise you are doing for your osteoporosis, but it shouldn’t count toward your exercise unless you work up to power yoga or vinyasa classes. Even milder forms of yoga can help improve balance and posture, both keys for thriving with osteoporosis. If you have never taken yoga before, start with a beginner’s class or private lesson. Some cities even offer special yoga classes for those with osteoporosis.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Your diet can have more of an impact on your osteoporosis than you might think. People with osteoporosis don’t have to eat perfectly, but you should make sure your diet is nutrient rich and low on junk food. Eat calcium rich foods like tofu, yogurt, sesame seeds, almonds, and figs every day. Also make sure to include foods rich in magnesium every day, like tofu, broccoli, spinach, and lentils. Finally, add vitamin K rich foods to your diet, which include most vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables.
If you’re not sure how to get these new nutrients in your diet, consider a tofu vegetable stir fry with nuts, yogurt sprinkled with seeds, and dried fruit as a snack. Also consider making smoothies with nut butters, leafy greens, and fruit. There are plenty of healthy meals to choose from, especially if you gravitate toward vegetarian, middle eastern, and Asian cuisine.
Get Some Sunshine
Vitamin D is crucial to treating osteoporosis, and there is no better source of vitamin D than the sun itself. You don’t need much sun exposure to make a difference, just ten minutes once or twice a day in the late morning or afternoon. Make sure to not wear sun screen, as it blocks absorption of vitamin D. If you can’t get sunshine every day, consider taking a vitamin D supplement at a dose your doctor recommends.
Osteoporosis patients should drink very little if at all. Alcohol decreases the body’s ability to absorb calcium, an important nutrient for people with osteoporosis. Also, being a bit tipsy can lead to falls or clumsy walking. To prevent injury and bone loss, only drink on very special occasions, and limit yourself to one drink.