Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Social Media Policy
By posting on any of Mercy's Social Media sites you are bound by the Social Media Policy

Build bones to last a lifetime

Unless they are broken, sprained or bruised, your bones are rarely a topic of discussion when it comes to health. Yet, without strong bones, you can have a number of health issues. Our bones provide protection for our vital organs, including the heart and lungs, and anchor muscles, too. In order to keep bones healthy, it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D and other essential nutrients and do weight-bearing exercises two to three times a week.

Taking care of your bones can help prevent serious health problems like osteoporosis later in life. This is especially important for women, who tend to have less bone mass. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately one in two women over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. And, although women are at greater risk, men can get osteoporosis, too. Simple changes to your diet, plus adding weight-bearing exercises can help strengthen and protect your bones.

As you grow, your body constantly breaks down and forms new bone. Nutrients from food help support bone growth. Calcium and phosphorus are the minerals used to produce new bones. Vitamin D is also needed to help regulate and increase the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D are especially important to building strong, dense bones when you are young and helping to keep them strong and healthy as you age. 

Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D include:

Looking for ways to include more of these calcium rich foods in your diet?  Find great recipes at CHI Mercy Health’s new Well Fed Heart website. This month’s featured recipes that include bone strengthening nutrients are Italian White Beans and Garlicky Swiss Chard and Brussels Sprouts and Farro Salad.

If you are not getting the recommended amount of nutrients from eating well-balanced meals, then you may need to complement your diet by taking supplements, or a multivitamin. The Institute of Medicine suggests women over age 50 may need calcium supplements with about 1,200mg a day. However, consult with your primary healthcare provider before taking any supplements since recommended doses vary by person and age.

In addition to diet, it is also important to strengthen bones through exercise at any age. Weight-bearing physical activity causes new bone tissue to form, and this helps make your bones and muscles stronger. When muscles push and tug against bones during physical activity, both become stronger.

Try these at-home exercises to get started on your journey to stronger, healthier bones:

You are never too young or old to take care of your overall health, including your bones. Get started today by incorporating more healthy food choices and exercises that can help protect your bones and decrease your chance of getting osteoporosis.

Visit these online resources for more information:

Visit for more healthy heart tips, recipes and more.


Contact Mercy Medical Center

website use disclaimer - notice of privacy - joint commission public notice

2700 Stewart Parkway - Roseburg, Oregon 97471 - (541) 673-0611