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It’s a known fact: there seems to be a correlation between growing older and losing bone mass. As we age, our bones can feel weaker, more brittle, and prone to damaging diseases. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, the “44 million people with either osteoporosis or low bone mass represent 55 percent of people aged 50 and older in the United States.”
Luckily, there are a myriad of strategies that can help strengthen and preserve bone density throughout the process of aging. The following will divulge three simple strategies for strengthening bone mass in seniors!
A wonderful way to maintain bone mass for seniors is to dedicate time to exercising. According to The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, “exercise is the stimulus that makes bones stronger.” This is because, when we exercise, we are actively encouraging our bones to become more durable.
Seniors should dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to weight bearing activities. Note that this does not mean that seniors should only be lifting weights! Instead, any act where seniors are exercising against gravity is a wonderful strengthener for bone health. Walking, jogging, yoga, and tai chi are all examples of activities that stimulate bone density.
- Get A Healthy Dose of Vitamin D
In order to strengthen bone mass for elderly individuals, seniors should make sure to incorporate vitamin D into their lifestyle. This is because a healthy supply of vitamin D has been shown to be essential for bone mineralization and calcium absorption. According to a 2010 US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health study, “vitamin D supplementation can improve muscle strength” and “bone metabolism.”
There are many ways that one can incorporate this vitamin into their life. Fatty fish and seafood are known to be rich in vitamin D. For the seafood averse, mushrooms also pack a healthy dose of the nutrient!
- Avoid Overly Salty Foods and Alcohol
One of the best ways to strengthen bone mass is to avoid substances that stand in the way of healthy bones. While some foods are made to help you absorb calcium, there are others that seem to only inhibit it! Salty snacks and alcoholic beverages are known to flush the body of healthy calcium. This can even cause your body to harvest calcium from the bones!
Thus, in order to promote healthy bone levels, it may be time to take a break from salty snacks and booze. Your bones will thank you!