Building Bone Density for Seniors
Healthy and strong bones serve two essential purposes. First, they support our bodies so we can walk, move, and perform all the wonderful activities we enjoy. They enable participation in physical pursuits like golfing, sports, and even dancing.
Second, our bones protect our internal organs from becoming damaged. Without bones, our heart, lungs, and other vital organs would be exposed to bumps and bruises, or worse. As we approach our golden years, maintaining a healthy and energetic lifestyle depends on having strong, healthy (and dense) bones. Making bone health a priority helps you remain active in your senior years.
What Happens When We Get Older?
Aside from our metabolism rate slowing down, muscles losing mass, and organs weakening, our bones also deteriorate. Why do our bones weaken as we age?
- As we slow down over the years, we often enjoy less physical activity which results in decreased bone strength.
- Hormonal changes, such as reduced testosterone in men and lower estrogen levels in women, slow the body’s ability to recover.
- Minerals that support strong bones, such as calcium, begin to leech out of our bones faster.
Once we understand what causes decreasing bone strength, we can take steps to boost our bone health.
How to Improve Bone Health
Now that you know why bones degenerate, let’s talk about how seniors can maintain bone density.
Food: Eat more foods with nutrients that promote bone density, such as protein, vitamins D and K, magnesium, and calcium. Your diet should consist of anti-inflammatory food like greens, fruits, whole grains, fish, and nuts. A diet rich in these foods can help slow bone deterioration and promote long-term bone health.
Exercise: You should make regular exercise a part of your daily routine. Participate in physical exercises, such as resistance training, brisk walks, hikes, jogs, sports, and even dancing. A body in motion promotes healthy joints and bone strengthening.
Checkups: Regular physician checkups can monitor your progress as it relates to maintaining healthy bones. In addition, you can consider seeking regular counseling from nutritionists and physical therapists to help stay on track in between doctors visits.
We can’t stop ourselves from growing older. However, we can take steps to better our golden years. And it’s never too early to start!