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Easy ways to take care of your bones

The small changes you can make and what affects your bone health in general

Bone Health

The winter months can be hard on your bones due to the higher risk for falls and lower vitamin d from fewer hours of sunlight, so it's very important for you to do what you can to boost your bone health. In order to do that, it helps to know what affects your bone health and what you can do to keep them healthy.

What affects bone health?

  • Low calcium in your diet
  • Little to no physical activity
  • Smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Gender (women have a higher risk of osteoporosis)
  • Size (thinner people tend to have more problems with bone health)
  • Age, race, and family history
  • Hormone levels
  • Eating disorders and other medical conditions
  • Certain medications

What can I do to keep my bones healthy?

Include plenty of calcium in your diet

  • For adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70, you need 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day
  • Women aged 51 and older and for men aged 71 and older need 1,200 mg a day
  • Good sources of calcium include dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products, such as tofu. Foods that have been fortified with calcium are also good sources of the nutrient such as fortified cereal and calcium-fortified orange juice

Get enough vitamin D

  • For adults ages 19 to 70, you need 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin d a day.
  • Adults aged 71 and older need 800 IUs a day.
  • Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish (such as salmon, trout, whitefish and tuna), mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods, such as milk and cereals. Sunlight also helps your body make more vitamin D.
  • Multivitamin supplements have up to 400 IU of vitamin D.

Avoid substance abuse

  • Do not smoke
  • If you are a woman, avoid drinking more than one alcoholic drink each day. If you are a man, avoid drinking more than two alcoholic drinks a day.

Exercise

  • You should try to do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day (or 60 minutes for kids)
  • Weight-bearing exercises can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss.

     

    Weight-Bearing/High Impact/Resistance Activities:

    • Stair-climbing
    • Hiking
    • Dancing
    • Jogging
    • Downhill and cross-country skiing
    • Aerobic dancing
    • Volleyball
    • Basketball
    • Gymnastics
    • Weight lifting or resistance training
    • Soccer
    • Jumping rope

    Weight-Bearing/Low Impact Activities:

    • Walking
    • Treadmill walking
    • Cross-country ski machines
    • Stair-step machines
    • Rowing machines
    • Water aerobics
    • Deep-water walking
    • Low impact aerobics

    Non-Weight-Bearing/Non-Impact Activities:

    • Lap swimming
    • Indoor cycling
    • Stretching or flexibility exercises (avoid forward-bending exercises)
    • Yoga
    • Pilates

To find out more ways to help your bones be as healthy as possible, make an appointment with one of our providers at the Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness Center closest to you.

 

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