17 Ways to Protect Your Bones

Take these steps to ensure healthy bones today!

There are many ways to be proactive about your bone health other than diet, exercise and taking calcium supplements. Here are some ideas you may not have thought of to tell your bones “I care.”

  1. Make a list of your medications.
    Ask your healthcare provider to review it for medications that can cause bone loss or balance problems.
  2. Get a grip.
    Use railings and banisters when going up or down stairs.
  3. Swear off crash diets.
    They can deplete you of nutrients and vitamins your bones need. Plus, being underweight increases your risk of breaking a bone.
  4. Lift with your legs.
    Avoid spinal fractures by hinging at the hips and bending the knees. Don’t round your back.
  5. Keep your phone near.
    You won’t need to rush to answer calls.
  6. Clean spills quickly.
    Swab spills and clean floors immediately.
  7. Put a bell on your pet.
    Our cats and dogs are dear, but they can also cause falls. Use a bell to make sure you hear them coming!
  8. Do a shoe intervention.
    Separate shoes that need resoling and get them to the cobbler. Toss shoes that make you wobble, slip, lurch or that torture your feet!
  9. Tack down rugs.
    Secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or a slip-resistant backing—or remove throw rugs from your home.
  10. Get support!
    If your balance is poor, don’t be afraid to use a cane or walking stick—even if it’s just around the house or to go up and down stairs—to ensure you don’t take any unnecessary tumbles.
  11. Light up!
    Always turn on lights before entering a room, even if you’re just going in for a moment, so you don’t trip on anything unseen.
  12. Remember the 500-mg rule.
    That’s about the most calcium (from food or supplements) your body can absorb at one time.
  13. Check your bags. 
    Get help with grocery bags that can throw you off-balance. And always ask a bellhop for help with luggage!
  14. Kick nicotine.
    Smoking robs bones of vital nutrients like calcium, reduces your bone mass and increases your risk for broken bones.
  15. Rise and shine, safely.
    Keep slippers with grips on the sole by your bed.
  16. Anchor your purse.
    Wear your purse diagonally over your chest instead of on your shoulder, where it could slip off. The sudden movement could skew your balance.
  17. Get your vision checked.
    Make sure you’re seeing clearly so you can get where you’re going.
Published March 2014

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