For many seniors, bone density is a crucial component of aging well. Healthy bones promote both a more mobile lifestyle and a better functioning body. Meanwhile, low bone density can heighten the possibility of fractures, falls, and osteoporosis.
Thus, for those seniors looking to preserve their bone density, here are four simple steps for maintaining bone health in old age!
1. Prioritize calcium in your diet.
To protect our bones: we need to consume calcium! This mineral is integral to maintaining bone health, aiding the contraction of muscles, and promoting blood vessel flow.
Although we all can benefit from calcium, seniors especially need to be prioritizing this mineral. This is mainly because, as we age, the rate of bone reformation slows. As we enter into our golden years, this rate of bone reformation actually becomes slower than the rate that our bones breakdown.
Thus, by incorporating a healthy dose of calcium, seniors can aid healthy bone growth, promote density, and stave off the possibility of osteoporosis.
The National Institutes of Health suggest adults 71 years and older should consume approximately 1,200mg of calcium daily.
2. Get some vitamin D!
While calcium is essential for bone reformation, vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. This hormone is heavily associated with bone mineralization, which is the process by which bones are developed.
Those over the age of 71 should be consuming a minimum of 800 international units of vitamin D daily. This can be consumed via appropriate sun exposure, healthful foods, or supplements!
3. Cut excess alcohol out of the diet.
If you are looking to prolong senior bone health, it may be time to cut back on alcohol. Although a libation every now and again is not so bad, chronic alcohol use can severely cripple bone density.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol and Abuse and Alcoholism, there is a direct link between heavy alcohol consumption and compromised bone health. As to be expected, this compromised health increases the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
4. Strengthen your muscles with a weight-bearing exercise.
To preserve bone strength, seniors need to be working their muscles! A 2014 study conducted by Doctor Hiroshi Kaji revealed the connection between muscle strength and bone density. He revealed that an increase in muscle mass produces “stretching of collagen fibers and periosteum at the interface, resulting in the stimulation of local bone growth.”
In layman’s terms, promoting muscle strength is directly correlated with increasing bone health. Thus, seniors can prevent bone loss by adopting a practice of regular weight-bearing exercise.