As we grow older, it becomes increasingly important to prioritise bone health as our bones naturally become weaker and more susceptible to fractures, osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.
Check out these essential tips for maintaining strong bones as you age:
In an interview, Dr Debashish Chanda, Orthopedics at CK Birla Hospital in Gurugram, shared, “A balanced diet plays a vital role in maintaining strong bones. Calcium is a key nutrient for bone health, Some of the common excellent sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, dark leafy greens like kale and broccoli, fortified plant-based milks, nuts, and seeds are also good options. Aim for a daily calcium intake of 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams for individuals over 50 years old. If your diet falls short, consider calcium supplements after consulting with a healthcare professional.”
2. Get Sufficient Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for optimal calcium absorption and bone mineralization. Unfortunately, many individuals, particularly older adults, may have inadequate levels of vitamin D. Spend time outdoors in the sunlight, as the sun is a natural source of vitamin D. However, during winter months or for those with limited sun exposure, dietary sources like fatty fish (salmon, tuna), egg yolks, and fortified dairy products can help meet your vitamin D needs. Consider discussing a vitamin D supplement with your healthcare provider to ensure you maintain adequate levels.
3. Engage in Weight-Bearing Exercises
Regular physical activity, particularly weight-bearing exercises, plays a pivotal role in maintaining bone strength. Activities such as walking, jogging, dancing, and weightlifting help stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss.
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption have detrimental effects on bone health. Smoking reduces bone density, while heavy alcohol intake interferes with the body's ability to absorb calcium and decreases bone formation. Defined as one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
5. Avoid Falls and Take Precautions
Dr Akhilesh Yadav, Associate Director-Orthopedics and Joint Replacement, Max Super Speciality Hospital Vaishali, revealed, “Falls are a significant cause of bone fractures in older adults. Take preventive measures to reduce the risk of falls, such as keeping your living space well-lit, removing tripping hazards, and using handrails on staircases. Wear appropriate footwear with good traction.
6. Regular Bone Density Testing
Dr Akhilesh said, “Bone density testing, such as a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan, can assess bone health and detect osteoporosis or low bone density. Talk to your healthcare provider about the recommended frequency for bone density testing based on your risk factors and medical history. Early detection allows for timely intervention and treatment if necessary."
Maintaining strong bones as you age requires a combination of a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices.
Remember to consult with healthcare professionals for personalised advice and guidance.
Source: Hindustan Times