5 Ways to Strengthen Older Bones
Thirty percent of all postmenopausal women have osteoporosis, and one-in-six white women will break a hip in their lifetime as a result.
When it comes to osteoporosis, there’s no reason to become a statistic.
There are ways to strengthen older bones. And most of these measures will also increase overall health and improve longevity.
Follow these tips to take care of your own bones and encourage your aging loved one to do the same.
6 Ways to Boost Bone Health
Just 30 minutes of exercise each day can help strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis.
Weight-bearing exercises, such as yoga, tai chi, and even walking, help the body resist gravity and stimulate bone cells to grow. Strength-training builds muscles which also increases bone strength.
2.Eat a balanced diet
Dairy products, fish, and leafy green vegetables are all rich in calcium and Vitamin D, which has been shown to strengthen bones.
In addition, there may be a link between Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and flaxseed and bone health. Blueberries might also strengthen bones.
Aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables, and at least three servings of low-fat or non-fat dairy products, including milk, cheese, and yogurt, per day.
It’s challenging to get all the nutrients your body needs from the food you eat—especially if your appetite isn’t what it used to be. Calcium, Vitamin D, and Omega-3 supplements have all been shown to improve bone strength.
Just be sure to check with your doctor to determine if any supplements you take might negatively impact the prescription medications you may be on.
4. Make sure your body absorbs the calcium and vitamin D it needs
Sunlight helps the body absorb vitamin D from the foods you eat. Experts recommend five to 10 minutes of sun exposure (without sunscreen) on the hands, arms, and face, two to three times a week, to help the body process the necessary vitamin D for bone health.
5. Avoid salty foods and caffeinated beverages
Foods that are high in salt or overly processed have been shown to prevent the body from absorbing calcium. Highly caffeinated beverages may do the same.
Limit intake of these foods for better bone health—and better overall health, too!
6. Get a bone density scan
While this simple diagnostic procedure won’t strengthen your bones, it can let you know if you’re doing enough for better bone health.
It’s recommended that all women over the age of 65 and men over 70 have a bone density scan.
Stronger Bones and Better Health Go Hand-in-Hand
The steps you take to build stronger bones and avoid osteoporosis are also good for your overall health. These five tips will help older individuals build stronger bones. But, whatever your age, it’s never too late to start preventing osteoporosis.
Residents at Five Star Senior Living have access to a wide array of bone-strengthening exercise programs. Stop in for a personal tour to learn more!