When we talk about building strength, we usually think about muscle strength, but what about our bones! Maintaining bone density is critical in keeping well throughout our older years. After the age of 50 bone breakdown outpaces formation and changes to bone loss, particularly at the time of menopause. According to Arthritis NSW, over a million Australians have osteoporosis or low bone density. .
The good news is that we can still strengthen our bones; it’s not too late!
- Exercise regularly, yes this is a standard method towards good health in general. Although regular walking and some gentle resistance training, can reduce the rate of bone loss and conserve bone tissue.
- Eat adequate calcium-rich foods such as milk, hard cheese, yoghurt, and fish with bones. Low calcium intake over time can reduce bone density and cause osteoporosis. It is best to obtain your calcium from your diet but in some circumstances a supplement may be recommended by a doctor or pharmacist.
- Maintain healthy levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone essential for calcium absorption and bone mineralization. So ensuring we spend time in the sunlight, eat fatty fish and seafood or if you are one of the many people who can’t or don’t like seafood, try eating more mushrooms. Mushrooms are the only vegetarian source of vitamin D.
- Limit alcohol and don’t smoke as it reduces the blood supply to the bones, slows the production of bone-forming cells and can prevent the absorption of calcium.