23-29 August 2021 is Healthy Bones Action Week.
If you’re like us, you see information every day from family, doctors, friends, radio, TV and more telling you how to live your healthiest life. And it can be confusing! This week is Dairy Australia’s Healthy Bones Action Week. That’s why we put together this blog to cover some simple tips for keeping one very important part of your body healthy, your bones.
Most people don’t really think about their bones until they have a fracture or notice their bone health declining. But did you know that our bones are a living tissue and are in a constant state of renewal? That’s why building and maintaining strong bones is important for our lifelong health.
Our peak bone mass is reached around our late twenties, so for many of us, that ship has well and truly sailed. But luckily, there are still ways to maintain strong and health bones, such as getting the right amount of calcium, exercise, and vitamin D.
Poor bone health in adults over the age of 50 affects two thirds of Australians, and this can be the leading cause of bone fractures which often lead to chronic pain and loss of independence.
So, what are some simple ways we can improve our bone health?
Increase your calcium intake:
If consuming more calcium means eating more cheese, yogurt and milk, then we are all for it, because they are delicious.
Luckily, these are in fact the best food sources to increase our calcium levels!
In our body, calcium combines with other minerals (like phosphorous) to form hard crystals, that give our bones strength. With calcium being stored in our bones, it can help support other functions of our body like muscle contraction, especially in the heart. Unfortunately, our bodies do not naturally produce calcium, making it very important that we consume calcium in our diet every day to ensure we maintain strong bones.
Calcium circulates in the blood, therefore if we have low calcium levels in the blood, calcium is withdrawn from the bones to use it for blood circulation. This then means calcium is lost from the bones and they weaken.
But what if you don’t like, or can’t have dairy?
Well, good news! For all our vegans or lactose intolerant friends, there are some foods that provide high levels of calcium that don’t include dairy. Some favourites include fortified plant-based milks such as soy, almond or oat milk, soy-based foods such as tofu, beans and lentils, and dark leafy green vegetables.
To maintain strong bones, it is recommended to exercise at least three times per week. Weight bearing exercise is the best type of movement to maintain strong bones. This may include walking, dancing, aerobics, jogging, tennis, or resistance training. Not only does this help support our bone health, but exercise helps to release those happy, feel-good endorphins too.
Get some Vitamin D:
Getting the right amount of Vitamin D helps support calcium absorption and build stronger bones. Most of us just need a couple of minutes per day to simply get some sun on our face, arms and hands to help our Vitamin D levels.
At Let’s Get Care, we encourage our clients to do something positive this week for their bone health. If you’re able to get out for some sunshine, pass on a picture to your Care Manager as we love seeing and sharing your photos.
For more information on Healthy Bones Action Week, please visit: https://www.dairy.com.au/our-programs/healthy-bones-action-week