Do you know that our bones break down and regenerate throughout our life? When we’re young, our bones tend to repair and regenerate at a faster rate than they’re broken down, so the risk of fractures and brittle bones is rare. However, since the rate of us losing bone mass increases as we grow older, many older adults may develop osteoporosis, a condition that causes our bone strength to get weaker over time. In fact, studies have shown that after the age of 30, our bone density and mass will decrease rapidly as compared to them being repaired. This means that as you enter your 50s, your chance of getting osteoporosis can be high. However, it’s not all bad news as there are ways to prolong and improve bone health as you age.
Include More Calcium
It’s nothing new that as we grow older, we need to incorporate more calcium into our diets. The reason is that calcium is lost more rapidly from our bones as we age and our bodies can no longer absorb as much calcium as before. Therefore, it’s absolutely necessary to increase the intake of calcium in order to provide sufficient nutrients for our bones to be strong and healthy. While building and maintaining strong bones is the main function of calcium, other benefits include healthy heart, muscles, and nerves, alongside preventing diabetes and hypertension. To include calcium in your diet, you can consume calcium-rich foods, such as kale, salmon, and dairy products, and take calcium supplements.
Increase Intake of Vitamin D
Vitamin D can be considered a miracle vitamin as it serves many functions. Aside from regulating the amount of calcium in our bodies, vitamin D also helps in strengthening our bones, keeping our muscles and teeth healthy, boosting our immune systems, and many more. Vitamin D is naturally produced in our bodies when they’re exposed to sunlight, but for older adults who rarely head out of their houses, they can consider eating foods rich in vitamin D. These foods are oily fish like salmon and tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms, and cereals. If required, you can consult with your doctor or healthcare professional on taking vitamin D supplements.
Avoid Unhealthy Lifestyle Practices
No matter what age, it’s unhealthy to consume large amounts of alcohol and smoke excessively. However, this becomes even more so for older adults, considering that their immune systems are no longer as robust as compared to when they were younger. As such, such unhealthy lifestyle choices may put them at higher risk of developing diseases and illnesses like liver cancer, cardiovascular disease, and digestive problems. If there’s a need for alcohol, consider drinking only one or two cups daily. At the end of the day, it’s crucial to practice moderation, especially so for the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
Lead an Active Lifestyle
One of the best and most effective ways to build bone health is by exercising. Whether it’s taking a few minutes out of your day to walk around the community to taking part in cardio classes, sports and exercises can help to strengthen our bones to ensure they stay healthy as long as possible. For low-impact alternatives, you can also climb stairs, jog, dance, and play tennis.