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Maintaining Healthy Bones

Calcium, sunshine, and exercise are the holy grail trifecta when it comes to maintaining healthy bones as you age. Research shows that these three elements are most effective when used together.

Calcium

Taking in enough calcium is important for kids to help bones grow strong, however it is less often said that older adults should focus on adequate calcium intake as well. Calcium can come from dairy foods, but can also be found in leafy green vegetables, salmon, nuts and seeds, and soy products. If you find it hard to take in enough calcium, you can try  a daily supplement.

After young-adulthood, bone calcium will begin to decrease, particularly for women. A lack of calcium in a person’s diet can lead to degradation and diseases such as osteoporosis. Such diseases will cause weaker bones that will break more easily.

Sunshine (or Vitamin D)

Our bodies use Vitamin D to help absorb calcium from the foods we eat. Vitamin D is present in some food, but is predominantly taken in from the sun. Australians are usually able to get enough sun exposure to meet their Vitamin D requirements with just incidental contact, due to the very high UV. There is no need for most people living in Australia to spend purposeful time outside for Vitamin D needs.

Exercise

Exercise is key when trying to increase bone strength and density. Weight bearing exercises will help your bones grow stronger and harder. For best results, exercises should progressively get harder over time. While it is ideal to begin weight bearing exercise when you are younger, you are never too old to start. Be sure to consult a healthcare professional before embarking on an exercise regime.

Speak to your healthcare professional about more information on healthy bones.

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