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6 ways to stronger bones

As we age, our bone health is one of the most important things we can work on. Follow these simple steps to better bones.

Our bones are the scaffolding of our bodies, holding everything in place. As we get older our bones can deteriorate if not looked after correctly, so let’s take a look at some of the ways we can keep our bones healthy.

1. Get some calcium

Simply put, calcium is essential for strong bones. According to Osteoporosis Australia, almost 99 per cent of the body’s calcium is found in the bones. If calcium is needed elsewhere in the body it can be taken from the bones leading to a loss of bone density, so it is important to put the right amount of calcium in to our diets. The recommended daily intake for women over 50, and men over 70, is 1300mg per day.

2. But get some Vitamin D, too

Vitamin D helps calcium get absorbed by the body, so make sure you get a good dose. The easiest way to do it is to get some sunshine. The amount of sunshine needed is pretty low and it should be easy to achieve, but coming out of winter you might consider supplements. Check with your doctor.

3. Get physical

Physical activity helps with bone density because bones get stronger when they have a certain amount of impact and strain put on them. This means the best exercise for keeping your bones healthy is weight-bearing exercise – walking, tennis, impact aerobics – or resistance training using gym equipment to lift appropriate weights.

4. Know your medicines

Some medicines we take for other issues may have the effect of weakening our bones. Check with your doctor to see if things like thyroid medicine might be reducing your bone density and discuss ways to help prevent it.

5. Eat your way to good bones

Eating a lot of vegetables, especially green and yellow vegetables, can help with good bone mineralisation. Eating lots of vegetables has been shown to be particularly helpful for older women, who are at more risk of osteoporosis.

6. Maintain your fighting weight

Maintaining a healthy weight can help your bones. If you are underweight you run the risk of osteoporosis, but being overweight is bad too. As you age, carrying excess weight can lead to bone fractures and can be detrimental to bone health.

These simple things can help you have stronger bones longer, and that means a healthier, happier retirement.