If you've just been informed by your physician or gynecologist that you're facing some loss to your bone density after entering peri-menopause, you may be anxious at the thought of losing inches in height or dealing with bone fractures each time you slip and fall. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to improve and maintain bone density during peri-menopause while also improving your overall health. Read on for three tips and tricks to keep your bones strong during your early menopausal years.
#1: Strength Training
You may assume non-cardio activities like lifting weights do little to improve any aspect of health but your muscle strength -- however, engaging in strength training exercises like weightlifting can quickly begin to improve your bone health. While cardio exercise is also great for overall health, strength training has a specific benefit for peri-menopausal and menopausal women. For those who already hit the gym, substituting some strength training for your normal cardio a few days a week should be enough to reap these benefits; and those who exercise more rarely can perform these exercises in the privacy of their own homes, sometimes even using household objects in place of weights.
#2: Vitamin D
While many women begin popping calcium supplements upon learning about their bone density issues, calcium alone isn't easily absorbed by the body -- those who take calcium supplements without some additional Vitamin D may simply be paying for expensive urine. By purchasing a sun lamp that can provide you with a safe and healthy dose of Vitamin D during your working hours or focusing on improving your calcium and Vitamin D intake through your diet (like increasing your consumption of leafy greens like kale or fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon) you'll ensure that you're doing all you can to maintain your bones.
#3: Avoid Phosphorus
If you're an avid soda or diet soda fiend, you may want to cut back or eliminate your soda consumption entirely -- the phosporic acid in these drinks can interfere with calcium absorption and in some cases even leach calcium from your bones. Combining a high soda intake with the hormonal changes that can cause bone density loss during peri-menopause can be a recipe for brittle bones once you hit menopause and beyond. For those who can't enjoy drinks without a little fizz, enriched seltzer or tonic water may be a safer substitute.