Did you know that natural bone loss will begin around the age of 50? This is especially true for women after menopause. Bone loss occurs typically due to a loss of calcium and other minerals. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), “Bone is living tissue. To keep bones strong, your body breaks down old bone and replaces it with new bone tissue. Sometime around age 30, bone mass stops increasing, and the goal for bone health is to keep as much bone as possible for as long as you can. As people enter their 40s and 50s, more bone may be broken down than is replaced.” We’ve provided some helpful tips on how you can strengthen your bones as you age.
Top Tips on Strengthening Your Bones as You Age
Follow these easy tips to help reduce the rate of bone loss as you age. Discuss with your physician or orthopedist to develop a more personalized plan.
Take a Bone Density (DXA) Test
Your best place to start is with a bone density test to understand your current and future state. It is a diagnostic tool that determines the strength of your bones. The results will help you and your physician develop a plan to treat or reduce the rate of bone loss.
Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet
A balanced diet will enrich your bone health by having regular foods such as: dairy products, fish and leafy green vegetables. Each of these is rich with calcium and Vitamin D which are strongly encouraged as a healthy diet and dietary supplements.
Exercise For 30-Minutes a Day
Exercise is important for your general wellbeing, but it is even more critical to strengthen your muscles and bones. Weight-bearing exercises are the most impactful when it comes to bone strength, such as:
- Tai Chi
These can improve your core muscles and stimulate bone cells to grow.
Smoking is an associated risk factor for osteoporosis and bone fractures. We will repeatedly stress that you should quit smoking immediately to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Take medication and/or Supplements (hint: Vitamin D and Calcium)
It is recommended that men over the age of 50 should intake 1,000 mg of calcium per day and for women, it is 1,200 mg. To achieve this target, you may need to take supplements in addition to your daily diet. Also, depending on the severity of bone loss you may need medications to slow it down and prevent/delay osteoporosis or osteopenia.
Bone loss is natural but there are smart, healthy ways to reduce or prevent serious health issues. Bring this information to your physician and discuss developing a plan that meets your specific needs.