Did you know that after the age of 40 our bones become less dense and more liable to fracture?
With age, bones become delicate so a fall or even a sneeze, a cough or a twist movement can cause a fracture for those with very weak bones.
The hormones oestrogen and testosterone play a key role so deficiencies can have a profound effect. Women after the menopause suffer accelerated bone loss due to the decline in oestrogen, while in men, hormone levels tend to decline gradually with age.
Habits such as smoking and excess alcohol as well as medical conditions such as coeliac, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis can all have an effect.
Optimising bone health is essential through nutrition, exercise and a positive lifestyle attitude.
Ensure you include sufficient nutrients in your daily diet. Milk, yoghurt, cheese will help to reach the recommended target of 700mg for adults. Protein, phosphorous, magnesium and vitamin C are vital for strong bones too.
Calcium can be consumed from green leafy vegetables, nuts, sesame seeds, pulses, dried fruit, soya products and fortified bread and cereals. Calcium is key to the structural formation of bone but Vitamin D is important to help absorb the calcium. This vitamin forms hormones which guide calcium to areas around the body. Vitamin D is provided by exposing our skin to sunlight and due to winters and weather patterns in the UK, this can be limiting so supplements are recommended as massive doses are needed. But diet alone will not improve bone health.
Exercise fortifies the bones by working the muscles. Weight bearing exercises provide the greatest benefits such as walking and standing which support our whole body. Resistance training helps bones and muscles in the form of push-ups or weights or even carrying shopping! Be aware of working different muscle groups for good posture and spine support. And don’t forget the art of balance. Stand on one leg to practice! Add other activities to your regime such as gardening, dancing, skipping and tennis.
So, whether its salsa dancing or pruning roses, tucking into grilled sardines or a stretch class in the sunshine, build up your bone health this decade.
Reports reveal that an estimated three million people in the UK may be living with osteoporosis and around one in two women and one in five men over 50 will suffer from a broken bone.