By the time you’ve reached your fourth decade of life, you’ve already built all of your bone mass. While you can’t add to that bone after 40, you can take steps to preserve it. And doing so can help lower your risk for a range of common problems.
Dr. Javier Sosa and our expert team at Woodlands Primary Healthcare, located in The Woodlands, Texas, provide preventive, chronic condition, and anti-aging care to help you keep your bones healthy.
Read on to learn more about bone health after 40, including practical tips and ways we can help.
The basics of bone health
Your bones support your body throughout your life. In your early years, especially during periods of rapid growth like adolescence, you can influence your bone density by eating well and exercising.
While everyone’s unique, most people reach peak bone mass between ages 25 and 30. And by age 40, you gradually start losing bone mass.
Doing what you can to protect your bones from then on is essential for preventing osteoporosis. By causing brittle bones and raising your risk for fractures, osteoporosis can greatly limit your mobility and independence later in life.
How to care for your bones after 40
To reduce bone loss from your 40s on, cultivate bone-healthy lifestyle habits, such as getting enough exercise, calcium, and vitamin D.
For optimal bone health, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends aiming for 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity, such as walking, dancing, and gardening, four or more days per week.
Meanwhile, eat plenty of calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat milk or yogurt, fortified tofu, almonds, and leafy greens. Adults in their 40s generally need 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium each day. That’s equal to about 3.5 servings of dairy products or fortified tofu.
Adults also need about 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily. Your body creates vitamin D in response to sun exposure. If you don’t get enough sun time — usually 10-30 minutes, a few times per week — you can rely on foods or supplements. Good food sources of vitamin D include salmon, fortified milks, and egg yolks.
If your lifestyle isn’t enough
If you’re lacking calcium or vitamin D, Dr. Sosa and our team may recommend supplements. We can also order bone density tests to assess any weaknesses if you seem to be at risk for fractures.
As you move toward and into your 50s, we can also address any hormone deficiencies that may arise. That is important from a bone standpoint, given that reduced estrogen levels raise your risk for osteoporosis. And if you develop osteoporosis, we can recommend an ideal treatment plan, such as a medication that helps preserve bone density.
To learn more about bone health after 40 or get the care you need, call Woodlands Primary Healthcare, located in The Woodlands, Texas, or request an appointment with Dr. Sosa on our website today.