The risk of osteoporosis increases once you turn 50. Currently, 4.74 people in Australia have osteoporosis or low bone density (Osteoporosis Australia, Statistics and Burden of Disease). Moreover, the statistics at this website predict that the number of bone fractures will be even greater by 2020.
Therefore, if you are approaching your golden years, it is time to think about your bones and your health and do all you can to prevent osteoporosis from lowering your life quality. Here are the things that need to be taken into consideration.
Eliminate Poor Lifestyle Choices
Lifestyle choices that you can get rid of are smoking and alcohol consumption. Calcium is very important for the strength of your bones. However, alcohol prevents your body from absorbing the much needed calcium. When you drink too much, your stomach cannot take the calcium it needs, the pancreas also has troubles absorbing it when the alcohol is present. It also interferes with the absorption of Vitamin D which is necessary for healthy bones because it encourages calcium absorption.
Smoking is no better. It causes a release of tons of free radicals that weaken the system in general. Moreover, it affects the secretion of estrogen and cortisol, leading to bone breakdown.
One way that exercise protects your bones is through the increase of muscle mass. Stronger and more agile muscles will do a better job at protecting your bones and keeping them safe. Other factors include life-long exercise that increases the bone density.
In your golden years, the least you can do is walk any chance you get. Your walks need to be at least an hour long and you need good and comfortable footwear. However, walks benefit from added weight, so that your muscles have the chance to grow. Added weight will give them a bit more resistance than your own weight alone.
Be careful about the type of activity that you choose. Swimming and cycling are great for your heart and form, but they will not do much for your bones. Also, make sure that you exercise at least three times a week. Make sure that you progress over time and make the exercise more challenging.
Improve Your Diet
Make your diet rich in calcium because, otherwise, your body will start draining your reserves and will be left without it. Salt, soda and caffeine are your enemies in the fight for better bones. On the other hand, milk is full of calcium.
To help things, you need significant amounts of vitamin D that is found in egg yolk, saltwater fish and liver. Vegan options for increased calcium intake are kale, vegan tofu with calcium, turnip greens and the like.
Vitamins and Supplementation
You may be lacking appetite or you may not enjoy certain food. Moreover, you might be allergic to some foods that you should eat to fight off your osteoporosis or prevent it altogether. Therefore, you should not be hard on yourself, as there are many supplements today that you can use. Calcium supplements are not rare these days, so make the most of the fact that you can easily add calcium to your diet by using them.
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You cannot influence the fact that time passes and that you are getting older. Moreover, you cannot influence your gender or your ethnicity, not to mention your inherited genes. Those are the risk factors for osteoporosis that you have to live with. However, if you do the things that you can, you will tip the scales to your advantage.