BALTIMORE It turns out that good friends really do have your back—and your skeletal system, too. A new study funded by the Women’s Health Initiative has identified a correlation between quality of social life and likelihood of bone health.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, nearly half of women over age fifty will break a bone due to osteoporosis— a disease in which bones progressively lose density, grow brittle, and become prone to fracture. While men can also be affected, post-menopausal women are at higher risk because of reduced estrogen levels.
In a study of more than 11,000 post-menopausal women, researchers found that participants who reported high levels of satisfaction with their friendships and low levels of social stress experienced less bone density loss in a 6-year period than women who lacked quality friendships.
In addition to investing in your friendships, you can care for your bones by following these suggestions from the experts at Saint Agnes Healthcare:
•Take your vitamins. The Office on Women’s Health recommends that post-menopausal women pay attention to their calcium and vitamin D intake.
•Lift some weights. Weight-bearing activities are encouraged by the CDC in order to boost your strength.
•Practice moderation. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, it’s wise to refrain from smoking and to limit your alcohol consumption to two drinks per day.