The health of our bones becomes more important with age. We look at both the physical and dietary sides to maintaining healthy bones.
With maturity comes the inevitable ailments to which none of us are an exception. A key and undeniable indicator is the wearing of our skeletal structure. In women, bone health has been proven to decrease more rapidly after the menopause, and of course in both sexes, conditions such as osteoporosis or osteopenia become more common. So what can we do about it? The answer is L I V E.
L = Load-bearing
Weight-bearing exercises like strength training, carrying heavy shopping or jogging can all help build bone tissue. The constant pull and push on the bones while moving against gravity makes them stronger and can help to prevent osteoporosis from occurring later on down the line – but only if it’s kept up.
I = Intensity
This is linked to load-bearing, because the heavier the weight and the faster you move it, the stronger your bones will be built.
V = Variety
Don’t stick to one exercise in one direction. Use a variety of exercises that cover a whole range of movements to not only build bones strong but also to increase your flexibility and strengthen ligaments and tendons too. Variety is also linked to your food intake, so don’t just eat a few favourite bone-building foods, go for a whole range.
E = Eat
Many people think that it’s just calcium that’s needed but this is not true. It’s also magnesium, silicon, zinc, vitamin D, phosphate, nitrogen and a whole host of other minerals needed to produce strong healthy bones, and to keep them that way. Aim for plenty of dark green leafy veg, low-fat or non-fat dairy produce, oily fish (especially sardines or pilchards if you eat the bones), stir-fried seafood, nuts, seeds and pulses and enjoy what you’re eating – and how you’re exercising.
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