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How do we keep our bones stronger as we age?

No matter what age you are, living a healthy life while having a balanced diet is an important part of living a long life.  As we age, so does our body.  There are certain activities that become more difficult to do and more difficult to recover from.  Our bones are also affected negatively the older get.  It’s no secret that our bones become weaker as we age. Bones continue to form until a person reaches 30 to 35 years. By that age, bone formation has achieved its peak. But the body continues to undergo a process to maintain the strength of the bone. Older bones are broken down (resorption) and new ones are built (formation). This process is called bone remodeling. But as a person grows older bone remodeling slows down. Bone resorption exceeds formation, and this is when bone loss occurs.

These facts, however, doesn’t mean it is impossible to make your bones stronger. A healthy lifestyle and proper diet are still key in achieving stronger bones. No matter what age we are now, our bones are still in a constant process of rebuilding so it is important that we provide them all the help they can get.

Get as much calcium as you can

Calcium is a mineral that plays an important role in blood, nerves and muscle processes. Our body cannot produce calcium, so whenever the body needs it for its processes, the body gets it from the bones. That is why a person should eat food which is rich in calcium and in some cases, take calcium supplements.

Women 50 years older and men 70 years older need 1,200 mg of calcium a day.

Green leafy vegetables like collard greens, spinach and broccoli, are rich in calcium. Tofu, almonds, salmon with bones and sardines are also sources of calcium.

Go with yogurt instead of milk

We’ve been taught since we were kids that milk is a good source of calcium. While it is true, many studies show that milk makes the body acidic and the body reacts to neutralize this acid. And because calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer, the body then gets calcium from the bones in order neutralize the effect of milk. The result is calcium deficit. Yogurt has a higher calcium content than milk.  If you aren’t a fan of the taste, throw in some fresh chopped up fruit or a scoop of your favorite granola!

Be sure you have a daily dose Vitamin D

Calcium from the food we eat is absorbed by the body with the help of vitamin D. So no matter how we eat calcium-rich food, the body cannot absorb and use this if the body lacks vitamin D. The body needs 400-800 IU of vitamin D to ensure excellent calcium absorption.

Tuna, salmon, mackerel and other fatty fish are good sources of vitamin D. You can also include cheese, eggs and beef liver in your diet for they are rich in vitamin D too.

Stop Smoking

Nothing good comes from smoking.  It’s that simple. So if you want to make your bones stronger, quit smoking now.

Moderate alcohol intake

It has been said countless times how calcium is important for the bones. People who drink 2-3 ounces of calcium every day has poor calcium absorption.  Too much alcohol can also affect your mental and physical status, so you may end up stumbling and causing serious injury.

Exercise more

You will likely see this advice on nearly all kinds of People who exercised regularly during their younger years will more likely to avoid osteoporosis when they get old than people who did not. Exercise improves strength and bone density.  Everything from jogging, to hiking, and even dancing are excellent for your muscles and bones.

Nick Eugenis
Nick Eugenis is the Digital Content Specialist at Beltone. Nick supports the digital marketing efforts of Beltone along with providing assistance to various Beltone locations throughout North America. He spends his free time with his wife, daughter and Shiba Inu named “Hachi”.

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