Bone Up: Top Four Tips to Maintain Healthy Bones as You Age

Aging can be hard on our muscles and bones. Primarily because as we age, we lose bone and muscle mass. That makes us more susceptible to falls and fractures. Estimates are that 1.5 million adults over the age of 50 experiences a bone fracture each year. 10 million adults in the U.S. live with osteoporosis.

How can you keep your bones and muscles strong as you grow older?

The aging experts at St. Charles Community offer four suggestions that you can easily add to your daily or weekly routine:

  1. 1.     Work It. An exercise program that incorporates light weights or resistance bands can help build muscles and bones. That is because as you lift weights or stretch the resistance bands, your muscles and bones are both stressed. That effort sends a signal to your body to create more bone. That adds density to your bone mass. Before you begin any form of exercise though, be sure to consult with your primary care physician.Attractive senior woman at health club

            2.     Balance Your Calcium & Vitamin D. Calcium is food for your bones. It is critical to keeping both your muscle and your bone mass healthy. Vitamin D is necessary to help your body to absorb and process the calcium. If your diet falls short on calcium, your body will raid your bones to get what it needs. That is what causes bone loss. As we age, we often need more Vitamin D than we did in younger days. Ask your physician if you should be taking a Vitamin D supplement.

  1. 3.     Think Green. Most green vegetables are rich in Vitamin K. It is an important vitamin to include in your diet because it helps your body build bone protein. That is another critical component of healthy bones. The best sources of Vitamin K are leafy green vegetables like romaine, spinach, kale and parsley. But you can also find it in brussel sprouts, broccoli, raw celery, fermented cheeses, soybean products, and eggs.
  2. 4.     Protein Power. Protein can be tricky to balance. If you eat too much of it – especially if the calories are from meat products – your body will excrete too much calcium. But if you don’t eat enough of it, your body will not be able to absorb enough calcium. Nutritionists believe that the average adult should plan a diet that includes 54 – 68 grams of protein per day.


Nutrition Barriers in the Elderly

One of the biggest barriers to older adults eating a healthy and balanced diet is physical limitations and impairments. Hand tremors from diseases like Parkinson’s may make chopping and cooking difficult. Arthritis is quite common among older adults and is a leading cause of physical limitations. Many older adults have vision or hearing impairments that prevent them from driving. If they have to rely on others for transportation to the grocery store, it may be hard for them to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables as frequently as they should. That is when homemaker services can help. Busy caregivers in Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati can utilize the services of a care partner like St. Charles at Home to help their aging loved one with meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. That can help them maintain a diet that supports healthy bones.

Are you a Northern Kentucky caregiver? How do you help your aging loved one keep their bones healthy?

St. Charles Community is Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati’s most trusted senior care partner. A faith-based, nonprofit organization, we have served elders in our community for over 50 years. Contact us today at 859.331.3224 for your senior care and living needs.