The path to good bone health starts as a child

Bone gowth is usually ignored until it is too late.

But, there are many simple lifestyle changes that can help prevent osteoporosis.

"It's known as a silent disease because a lot of people don't know at what point their bones will become brittle and are prone to fracture until they have a fall," says Erica Bonstead, a wellness wpecialist at Mercy Business Health.

What Bonstead is referring to is osteoporosis, a disease where bones become weaker with age until the risk of a break or a fracture arises.

The effects of osteoporosis don't reveal themselves until we are much older, but the damage begins well before that.

"There's a transitional point in our life, most people say it's in your thirties," says Bonstead, "that you're building less bone and losing more bone."

We think about osteoporosis as an odler-person's disease, but the prevention begins early on in life.

People who are more active at a younger age, especially as a child or adolescent, build more bone density, something that is easier for our bodies at that age.

"So, really, early life exercise, and encouraging kids and young adults to run, jump, hike, climb," says Bonstead. "Stress your bones and muscles as much as you can because it's going to encourage bone building."

Bonestead reminds us that a healthy diet, including high amounts of calcium from milk, cheese, yogurt, and leafy greens, can also help to prevent osteoporosis.

She also recommends engaging in balance exercises to aid in fall prevention.

"If you do have brittle bones, but you are able to balance and catch yourself better, then you can prevent some of those fractures from happening,"says Bonstead.

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