Bone health is important to your overall health. As we grow older, our bone mass naturally decreases. Osteopenia occurs when your bone density is lower than it should be but not low enough to be osteoporosis. It is the first stage of osteoporosis. At that point, you are at a greater risk of bone fractures. Luckily, there are some actions you can take and habits you can nurture to prevent loss of bone mass and keep your bones strong and healthy!
Exercise needs to be mentioned. It is difficult for us to get the exercise we know we need. Try to stretch when you reach for something on the top shelf. But be careful not to overstretch. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Just as you should take all vitamins in moderation, exercise with this in mind. No one wants to overdo their potential and end up getting hurt. Start slow and build up to a more advanced level.
By adding certain types of exercise to your routine, you will increase your bone density, which then reduces your risk for osteoporosis. Weight-lifting or body weight exercises strengthen your bones and fight the natural loss of bone mass that many people experience with age. It is very important to always to be physically active to keep your bones at their peak. Exercise becomes more difficult as we get older but exercise will help to avoid bone mass loss. The following exercises will help to strengthen your bones:
Brisk Walking: Thirty minutes of brisk walking five times a week is ideal. Brisk walking should result in about 10,000 steps.
Tai Chi: A slow, meditative mind-body exercise that helps to reduce stress and anxiety. This ancient art of movement will improve muscle strength, balance, flexibility, and reduces bone loss.
Yoga: Yoga relies on precise movements which are performed with proper breathing, control, and concentration. Yoga helps to build muscle control, strength, and flexibility.
Racquet Sports: Racquet sports such as pickle ball, tennis, racquetball, and squash gives you a great cardio workout and are good weight-bearing exercises. Pickle ball is a racquet sport that is easier on your knees and many older individuals enjoy it more than tennis.
Weight Training: Weight training or resistance training reduces bone loss. It will build muscle mass and improve flexibility and balance.
Calcium is essential for bone health. By drinking a glass of milk and eating yogurt or cheese, you will help your body to fight bone loss. The calcium you intake with these foods is part of the daily calcium necessary for bone health.
There are many options available when it comes to getting your daily recommended intake of calcium. For instance, green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and collards are great sources of calcium. A spinach salad could have just as much calcium as a glass of milk. This proves you do not have to eat dairy to get all the calcium you need.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Without it, your bones will become soft. The importance of vitamin D along with calcium cannot be overstated. One without the other will not work. The same foods that supply calcium will often supply this vitamin.
Your body manufactures vitamin D thru sunlight. Since vitamin D is necessary for your health, it is a good idea to have the sun’s rays shine on you daily. The sunlight helps in more ways than just producing this important vitamin. It has been shown that adults who get some sunshine every day are less likely to be depressed.
if you are not getting enough of these in your daily diet consider taking Calcium and Vitamin D supplements. However, it’s always best to get nutrients in your diet. A varied diet is the best source of the vitamins your body needs.
You can argue that calcium is one of the most important nutrients for your bones. However, there are many others that are necessary, including vitamin C and magnesium. Leafy greens that contain calcium will give you added magnesium. By eating fish, avocados, and bananas you will also add this important vitamin to your diet.
Oranges have vitamin C but broccoli has even more. Broccoli is often called the perfect food as it supplies so many of our dietary needs. You will obtain all of the nutrients needed to add strength to your bones if you eat well-balanced meals.
Drink a beer! According to Dr. Oz, having one beer a day may protect against bone loss. But be careful, too much alcohol will have the opposite effect and can reduce your bone density.
Read more articles on Guide for Seniors for information to help you stay healthy.