As we get older, our bones gradually lose their density. This loss of density can lead to an increased risk of bone diseases like arthritis or osteoporosis.
The good news is that your loved ones’ bones can be strengthened, which will ensure strong bones in the future and a reduction in the symptoms of bone diseases they may suffer from.
Health Direct lists a range of things that can be done to strengthen your loved ones’ bones.
Eat calcium rich foods
It is important to keep up the calcium intake as you age. Women over 50 and men over 70 should be having 3-4 serves of calcium every day. One serving of calcium is equal to a cup of full-cream milk, two slices of cheese, or a ¾ cup of yoghurt.
It is also essential that your loved one keeps an eye on the amount of fat in these products, as many calcium rich foods can have a lot of fat. Reduced-fat alternatives can also provide the necessary amount of calcium without risking a spike in cholesterol. If your loved one is unable to reach the recommended amount of calcium from diet alone, they may need to talk to their doctor about taking a supplement.
Eat a balanced diet
Your loved one must maintain a balanced diet in order to keep their bones healthy. Protein rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds are great for staying healthy. There are so many alternatives that you don’t need to worry if your loved one doesn’t like to eat fish or eggs, there are many options available.
Your loved one must consistently get their 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables every day, and healthy carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, potatoes and rice. Remember, pizza is not a healthy carbohydrate! Minimising salt consumption will also make a noticeable health impact.
Drink more water and less caffeine
Certain drinks can reduce the amount of calcium consumed by your body and can increase the chances of osteoporosis and other bone diseases as calcium is needed for strong bones. Encourage your loved one to choose water instead of caffeine, it is so simple and will help their bones greatly. Make sure your loved one avoids overindulging in drinks such as tea, coffee, soft drink, and alcohol.
Smoking increases a persons’ risk of osteoporosis. If your loved one is a smoker encourage them to quit. If quitting is too hard, at least encourage them to cut down on the frequency. There are more ways to quit now than ever before. Have your loved one consult their doctor for advice on quitting.
Encourage your loved one to get outside. They will not need to spend long outside before the Vitamin D from the sun begins to help their body absorb calcium. A few minutes of sun exposure a day during summer and a couple of hours spread over a week during winter is all they need.
Exercising while they are outside and maintaining and a healthy weight range can also strengthen your loved ones’ bones. The best exercises and activities for increasing bone density are weight bearing exercises. Some examples include:
Everyone’s bone density decreases as we age, but there are a number of ways to minimise the effects of this. Ensuring that your loved one follows a healthy diet and remains active will restore their bone density and reduce their chances of bone disease in the future.