Building Stronger, Healthier Bones

Most of us have a goal to live a long, healthy life. We have a vision of what that looks like. Running around after our grandchildren, hosting big family meals, staying active, and living a full life. I can bet most of us aren’t envisioning having to rely on others to help us get around as we age!

You may not know this, but your bones are continuously changing. While most of us reach peak bone mass at around age 30, bone remodeling continues. So, it’s never too late to build stronger healthier bones.

Bones play an important role in the body we all hope to have as we age. They provide shape and structure, protect our organs, and help to anchor our muscles.

As women, we need to pay attention to our bone health. During menopause, our levels of estrogen, and other hormones, drop dramatically. This decrease in estrogen triggers a period of rapid bone loss in women that starts one year before our final menstrual period and lasts for about three years. On average, women lose approximately 10% of their bone mass in the first five years after menopause.

This drop-in bone mass can lead to osteopenia, which is when you have a lower than normal bone density, leading to an increased risk for bone fracture. It can also lead to osteoporosis, which is more severe, when our bones become brittle and can break easily. Studies have shown that osteoporosis is more common in Asian and white women.

What does all this mean? The stronger your bones are in our 30s and 40s, the better off we will be after menopause. Bone density (or bone mineral density) is a measurement of how strong our bones are. The higher the density, the stronger and healthier our bones are.