Question: What can I do to build bone mass?
Answer: Bones are the body's support system. So what happens when they become weak?
Bones are a living tissue, and they're constantly being broken down and rebuilt. According to the Mayo Clinic, when you're young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and your bone mass increases. Many people reach their peak bone mass around age 30. After that age, your bones continue to change, but you lose slightly more bone mass than you gain.
When this happens, you can develop osteoporosis — a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle, making you more susceptible to fractures.
A number of factors can affect bone health, including the amount of calcium in your diet, physical activity levels, tobacco and alcohol use, family history, gender, and age. Certain medications also play a role in bone health. For example, people who take steroid medications for long periods of time have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
To boost your bone mass at any age, consider the following tips:
If you are concerned about your bone health or your risk factors for osteoporosis, speak with your doctor, who might recommend a bone density test to determine your rate of bone loss.