12 December, 2018
Joint aches and pains, uneasy recovery from falls and fractures, issues like osteoporosis, etc. are seen commonly as we age. However, the good news is that it need not be the case! Yes, it is indeed possible to take care of your bones from wear and tear so that you experience only minimal discomfort from the aging factor.
Bones need a lot of nutrients to stay healthy, and if you maintain a healthy diet, you can help your bones from losing density. Also, most of us know that Calcium is a crucial part of bone tissue and hence, are advised to take Calcium supplements after a certain age or if we face any issues, especially for women after 40. It is Vitamin D that helps our body to absorb the Calcium and hence, it is essential to get some natural sunlight of at least 10 to 15 minutes a day for this purpose. There are occasions when a Vitamin D deficiency is found, and people may also be prescribed Vitamin D supplements to make up for the same. However, let’s look at what all is possible to be done to maintain our bone health to the best extent possible.
Maintain body weight
Being obese has a lot of health issues associated with it and hence maintaining one’s body weight within the BMI limits or losing weight if you have in excess, is always a good idea. For this, apart from having a healthy and balanced diet, one should also exercise regularly. A discussion with your doctor can help you build up an exercise plan; one that helps you build up your muscle strength and improve flexibility like hydra therapy, walking, or some mild sports activities even like tennis or bowling. Even Yoga or some specific physiotherapy would do to maintain the body weight.
Healthy and balanced diet
The medically recommended dose of Calcium for adults is 1,000 mg per day, while for postmenopausal women and men over 70 years, it is 1,200 mg per day. You need to include milk and dairy products in your diet as they are an excellent source of Calcium. The other foods that can help you in this are broccoli, greens like spinach, figs, etc.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb all the required nutrients from the food you eat and hence, you also need to get enough dose of that every day. Include nuts, beans, whole grains, and an array of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet. Avoid processed foods and include the rainbow diet foods for variety as well as health. Also add Vitamin C rich foods like orange, peppers, turnips, tomato, cauliflower, etc.
Omega 3 fatty acid rich seafood like salmon and sardine, flaxseeds or walnuts will also help improve one’s bone density. It is best to avoid highly salty foods or foods with refined sugars, as they adversely affect the bone health. Apart from this, alcohol consumption should be avoided or limited and also quit smoking to ensure that bone health is maintained to the best extent possible.
Maintain good posture
It is also important not to slouch and to maintain a good posture, either while sitting, or walking or doing any chores. Learn to distribute weights equally between both the hands and shoulders, and not allow one side to feel the pressure. Bend your knees, if you need to lift something from down, instead of reaching out as is. Do not sit in one position for long hours, and ensure to take breaks and a walk in between. Wear comfortable shoes which provide the necessary support to your feet, and they should also be comfortable and not too tight or loose.
One should ensure that falls are avoided to the extent possible. Anti-skid mats should be installed in the bathrooms, and grab bars as well if needed. Even shoes should have anti-skid soles for better control when you move around. Wear shoes in the house and climb stairs slowly, while always having a grip on the railings. Remove any slippery mats and carpets in the living room and learn to watch your step.
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