[Pictured: standing L-R: Dr. Wendy Ward – Canada Research Chair in Bone and Muscle Development, Brock University; Dr. Lora Giangregorio – Kinesiology professor University of Waterloo; seated L-R: Susan Marshall pharmacist, Sue Mah RD, Lucia Weiler RD]
We were thrilled to be among the distinguished speakers at the Better Bone Health Forum last month, organized by Osteoporosis Canada. For better bone health, remember these 4 Ms:
MAXIMIZE bone density by getting enough calcium and bone-building nutrients during childhood and adolescence. Maximum bone density is reached by about age 18 (for girls) and age 20 (for boys). Milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir and fortified soy beverages are some of the best sources of calcium. Calcium is also found in foods such as canned salmon with the bones, leafy green vegetables, calcium-fortified orange juice, nuts, seeds and beans.
MAINTAIN bone density during your adult years to keep bones strong and healthy. Swap out one coffee a day and replace it with a latte. Cook and bake with milk products and calcium-fortified products. Protein, potassium and vitamin D all help your body better absorb calcium. Enjoy a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins to get a good mix of these vitamins and minerals.
MINIMIZE the bone loss that naturally occurs as we grow older. After menopause, a woman’s risk for osteoporosis rises. Get a bone density check. After the age of 50, consider taking a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU every day. Talk to a dietitian about the need for calcium supplements.
MOVE your body! Try to be active every day. Exercise builds strength in your muscles which can improve your balance and help prevent falls. Strength training or resistance training activities such as push-ups or lifting weights are recommended for building muscle strength. Weight-bearing activities such as walking, running, hiking, dancing, tennis and golf will also keep your muscles and bones strong. It’s never too early or late to take care of your bones!