Your bone strength
The way we live our life can play an important part in determining the amount of bone we invest in our bone ‘bank’ during our youth.
Although our genes play a key role in deciding the potential size and strength of our skeleton, the way we live our lives can play an important part in determining the amount of bone we invest in our bone ‘bank’ during our youth.
Healthy living is important throughout life for building strong bones and to prevent, as far as possible, the loss of bone strength that occurs with osteoporosis. It continues to be important as we move into later life when fragility fractures caused by osteoporosis are common.
During childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, your skeleton is growing and it is vitally important to maximise bone strength. If you ‘bank’ plenty of bone in these years, your skeleton will be in a better position to withstand the loss of bone strength that occurs with advancing age.
You can do this by taking plenty of weight-bearing exercise and eating a well-balanced, calcium-rich diet as well as developing other positive lifestyle habits such as not smoking or drinking excessive alcohol. Exercising continues to be essential as you get older, not only to improve bone strength but also to keep your muscles strong, which is vitally important to prevent you falling. Strengthening bones and reducing falls risk in older age will help to prevent fragility fractures.