I’m not going to pretend like there are not a boatload of health factors to think about as you get older. But one that you should absolutely be prioritizing is bone health.
Strong bones limit the risk of potentially life-threatening fractures, reduce pain, and help keep you upright and moving.
Your bones are constantly in a state of flux. Your body draws calcium from bones when it’s needed (and it’s always needed) and it has to be replaced. This process can slow down with age and play a role in your risk for osteopenia or osteoporosis – conditions marked by bone loss.
But calcium isn’t the only thing your bones need to stay or get strong. There are other factors at play. If you do them properly, you’ll not only be in a good position for better bone health but will likely experience several overall health benefits as well.
Perform Strength Training Exercises: Bones get stronger by responding to the right amount of pressure. Virtually any weight-bearing activity will help promote new bone formation and bone strength.
Studies have shown that older adults who perform weight-bearing exercise increased their bone mineral density, bone strength, and bone size, as well as reduced markers of bone turnover and inflammation.
You don’t necessarily need to start lifting weights, either. Walking or jogging puts weight on leg bones to help keep them strong. Exercises that are not load-bearing, like swimming or cycling, are not beneficial to bone health.
Eat More Vegetables: There is research to show vegetable intake is associated with bone mineral density. High-antioxidant veggies, like those rich in vitamin C, seem to be associated with healthier bones. Broccoli and cabbage may be particularly beneficial.
Eat Protein: Protein consumption is also linked with bone health. Roughly 50% of bone is protein, and there is evidence to suggest that low protein intake may hamper calcium absorption.
Protein can also contribute to stronger muscles that can add support bones and protect them from bumps and other knocks.