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5 Ways To Reduce Fracture Risks

4 min read



by Dr. Ryo Sanabria

Senior couple walking in a park

It’s a fact of life: as we age, certain health concerns become more important to consider. Among these, trips and falls are of considerable concern for those 65 and older due to the increased risk of resulting fractures at older age. However, with conscientious attention to our habits and well-being, we can navigate these prime years with reduced risk, which can increase confidence.

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Although the aging process may seem inescapable, it does not mean an automatic surrender to fragility or a decline in quality of life. It’s entirely possible—and indeed, recommended—to continue cherishing our golden moments, whether that’s a long-anticipated vacation, continuing or pursuing a hobby, or precious time with grandchildren. The key to maintaining the ability to enjoy all these things lies in working to keep bones and overall health in optimal condition.

Let’s delve deeper into five robust strategies to maintain bone health and reduce the risk of fractures as we age.

1. The Twin Pillars: Calcium and Vitamin D

Our bones are remarkable structures, acting as the body’s main calcium reservoir—with a staggering 99% of the body’s calcium found there. When calcium levels in the blood become low, the body actually digests the bone to replenish circulating calcium in the body. Thus, as we get older, it is important to maintain proper dietary calcium levels to prevent overdigestion of the bone, which can result in decreased bone density and an increase in risk for bone fractures.

Combining calcium with vitamin D amplifies its benefits as calcium absorption in the small intestine is increased in the presence of vitamin D. For individuals aged 70 and above, a daily dose of 800 IU of vitamin D is ideal. For those below 70, 600 IU should suffice.

Calcium requirements are gender-specific and age-dependent:

  • Men aged 51-70: A daily target of 1,000 mg
  • Men aged 71 and older: Aim for 1,200 mg/day
  • Women aged 51 and above: 1,200 mg/day is your benchmark

Consistent intake will contribute to:

  • Improved bone density
  • A significant reduction in fall and fracture risks
  • Enhanced muscle functionality
  • Balanced hormone production
  • Prevention and management of osteoporosis

2. Moderation in Consumption: Limiting Alcohol and Tobacco

Both excessive alcohol consumption and smoking have been linked to bone density reduction. While occasional celebratory drinks are unlikely to pose significant harm, it’s advisable to limit alcohol to 1 to 2 drinks daily. Excessive alcohol consumption interferes with bone growth, and inebriation can increase the risk of falls. Smoking, on the other hand, disrupts calcium absorption and bone regeneration. Thus, if one smokes, it’s worth considering a reduction strategy or cessation.

3. An Active Lifestyle: The Backbone of Bone Health

Physical activity, particularly weight-bearing exercises, is a cornerstone to bone health. Engaging in such exercises not only strengthens the bones but also enhances coordination, reducing the likelihood of falls. This is because muscle activity directly enhances bone growth and bone strength.

Even moderate activities, such as brisk walking, climbing stairs, or dancing, can be significantly beneficial. A regimen of 20-30 minutes daily is a recommended starting point, providing bones with the stimulation they need to remain dense and robust.

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4. Nutrition: Fueling the Body Right

Bowl of fresh mixed berries and yogurt

It is commonly acknowledged that our appetite diminishes with age, making the awareness of proper nutrition even more vital to maintaining proper health.  A balanced diet involves ensuring that all macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are consumed. Generally, a healthy diet involves the consumption of a variety of food types, including lean proteins like chicken and fish, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products (like yogurt), and soybeans. Getting adequate nutrients is essential to prevent bone deterioration. Minimizing unhealthy foods such as high-sugar drinks and high-fat foods like fast food is also important, as high consumption of fatty food can decrease bone density.

There’s emerging evidence highlighting the benefits of yogurt in enhancing bone density and overall physical function in seniors. Yogurt and other dairy products are high in protein, calcium, and vitamin D, two nutrients that are excellent for bone health. For those who find it challenging to consume regular meals, seeking advice from healthcare professionals regarding supplements or multivitamins might be beneficial.

5. Home Safety: Minimizing Environmental Risks

In addition to making changes to your lifestyle and body health, you can also reduce environmental risk factors to minimize trips and falls, which are the primary risks for bone fractures. The spaces we inhabit play a pivotal role in our safety. A few thoughtful modifications can drastically reduce the risk of falls. This includes ensuring adequate lighting, especially in frequently used pathways, and removing potential tripping hazards. Attention to footwear is equally vital; shoes should offer support and have non-slip soles for both indoor and outdoor use.


Navigating the journey of aging requires a blend of awareness, proactive measures, and self-care. By integrating these strategies into daily life, the prime years can indeed be marked by strength, stability, and a continued zest for life. Remember, with the right approach, our bones can serve as a strong foundation, supporting us as we continue to explore, learn, and cherish life’s moments.

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