(NC) Osteoporosic fractures are more common in Canadians than heart attacks, strokes and breast cancer combined. What many of us fail to realize is that osteoporosis and its prevention are rooted in proactive action. Prevention begins in young adulthood as bone mineralization peaks in our twenties. Both men and women begin to lose bone mass in their mid-thirties.

Since bone mass increases through young adulthood, reaching maximum peak bone mass by age 20, it’s essential to do everything possible to increase your peak bone mass to offset bone loss in later years.

According to a recent survey, 85 per cent of people don’t realize that osteoporosis typically goes undetected, with a broken bone often being the first sign of the disease. Here are three tips for becoming proactive about osteoporosis prevention:

1. Get active. Increasing daily physical activity and exercising regularly is important for everyone. Improving muscle mass and strength helps to slow the rate of bone loss. Weight-bearing activities where you are upright, like walking and running, are the best way to do it.

2. Increase your intake of calcium and vitamin D rich foods. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in calcium, protein and nutrients that contribute to the development and maintenance of strong, healthy bones. Increased consumption of calcium-rich dairy products has a beneficial impact on fortifying bone density. Milk is one of the rare dietary source of vitamin D, so try to drink two glasses every day.

3. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Quit smoking, limit your alcohol consumption, and drink coffee in moderation. Get a bone mineral density test if you’re at risk.

Find more information on reducing your risk of osteoporosis at osteoporosis.ca, and get delicious recipes at www.getenough.ca.