April Is Women’s Health Care Month
Celebrate Women’s Health Care Month with our suggestions to support your bones and your overall health.
You know that April showers are a celebration of spring flowers to come, but did you also know that April is Women’s Health Care Month? As we kick off warmer temperatures and health care awareness for women, we have six suggestions to help women to care for their bones, and for their overall health.
- Know your family history. Our genetics can influence a number of health conditions, bone health and bone density among them. Healthy bones may run in the family, but so might osteoporosis. In this case, what you know can help you understand what you need to do to protect your bone strength.
- Commit to good nutrition. Calcium and vitamin D are the critical nutrients that make bones hard and healthy. Calcium also contributes to proper muscle function, nerve signaling, hormone secretion, and healthy blood pressure. Don’t forget vitamin K. Although it is best known for assisting blood clotting, this nutrient also helps the body make proteins for health bones. Finally, make room for potassium on your plate. Although it’s not widely recognized for aiding bone health, potassium may neutralize acids that remove calcium from the body. Studies in both pre- and postmenopausal women indicate that women with high potassium intake showed significantly higher bone density.
- Make exercise a habit. Weight –bearing cardio and resistance training is good for your bones, your heart, and your brain, and can help keep a number of health issues at bay. For older women, the improved balance and strength that come with exercise can help prevent falls and fractures.
- Moderate caffeine and alcohol consumption. Caffeine does have some health benefits, but too much caffeine can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, and may accelerate bone loss in older women. Like caffeine, too much alcohol can cause bone loss. However, it’s fine for women to have one drink per day, and in fact, one daily cocktail may actually slow bone loss.
- If you smoke, it’s time to stop. Many studies have shown that smoking prevents the body from efficiently absorbing calcium and can decrease bone mass, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to smoking risks. If you’ve been thinking about quitting, this is a great time to put your resolve into action.
- Consider a bone density test. If you are a woman over 50, ask your physician to do a bone density test. Good bone density will put your mind at ease, and if there is an issue, better to address it sooner than later.
April is the ideal month to review your fitness habits, and make the changes that, like April showers, will nurture your healthy and active lifestyle.
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