B for Bones, The Strong Bones
It is important to be happy in the sunset years. Just like everyone else, seniors have to keep themselves strong physically, mentally, financially, and spiritually to lead a happy and contented life.
I shall be sharing different ways to maintain robust health in all four realms (physical, mental, financial, spiritual) in 26 posts throughout April 2022. If you are retired or about to retire or even not so near your second innings, please do read and plan accordingly for a wonderful “after-work-life”, which we call “second innings” on this blog.
The biggest fear of any senior citizen is fractured bones. Instead of living in fear, it is better to opt for taking good care of ourselves. In this post, I am highlighting bone care. Let us make ourselves aware of how to maintain healthy bones.
Aging comes with its own sets of problems. Our body undergoes many changes as one adds years to life. Kidney disease, blood pressure, vision issues, cancer, – growing old comes with its own set of challenges.
We usually give importance to regular medical checkups for heart, diabetes, etc but we tend to ignore bone health. When we think about the health issues of elderlies, bone issues do not come to our minds.
Bones form the basic structure of our body. It’s like the weight-bearing walls of our body. Poor bone health can increase the risk of fractures. Recovery from a fall in old age can be long and grueling. With age, our bones tend to lose mass, and their density decreases. This is the reason, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are so commonly found in the elder population. The bone and joint health checkups are very important.
Along with regular checkups, some nutritional and lifestyle changes can help build your bone health and maintain it too.
To boost your bone health, incorporate six vitamins and minerals into your diet.
Calcium – It is one of the most important minerals for bone health. Bones are the main storehouse for Calcium in the body. When the body does not get enough calcium, the body starts consuming calcium from the bones resulting in making them brittle and weak. The main source of Calcium are – Dairy products, dark green veggies such as kale, broccoli, and okra.
Magnesium – Studies show that people who eat a magnesium-rich diet have stronger bones, which in turn decreases the risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis. Again green vegetables, seeds, and nuts are rich in magnesium.
Phosphorous – Phosphorus works with calcium to fortify our bones. To incorporate phosphorous in your diet, including whole grains, lentils, egg yolk, pork, salmon, and tuna.
Vitamins C, D, K – Vitamin C is responsible for the production of collagen. It also oxidizes free radicles and helps improve bone health. Citrus fruits are a rich source of Vitamin C.
Our body produces Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. With age, our body loses its ability to synthesize Vitamin D. This sunshine Vitamin plays an important role in calcium and phosphorus absorption, which are crucial for bone health.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin and improves bone density. It also helps in healing. Vitamin K can be supplemented to the diet by having green leafy veggies, sprouts, green beans, cabbage, and cauliflower.
Along with nutrition, it is good to include some physical activity, every day. It is seen that we tend to gain weight with age. Always remember that extra weight exerts extra pressure on your bones and joints with every movement you make. Regular exercise keeps the joints flexible and strengthens the muscles, which support the joints.
When bone health is compromised, it results in arthritis/osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, osteomalacia (bone softening, mainly due to Vitamin D issues), rheumatoid arthritis, and not to forget the usual aches and pains. These conditions may result in mobility issues. Any mobility issues result in losing self-independence. Thus, bone health should be taken seriously by people of all ages, especially senior citizens.