As we age, managing bone health and mobility becomes increasingly important. It should become a high priority as you enter your 60s, especially if you want to remain active in your senior years.
As with many things, there are changes the body undergoes as the years wear on. The body also undergoes age-related changes, from the joints to the bones. Our bones are just one of the many tissues that can lose strength as we age.
However, there are plenty we can do to maintain our bone health, and these methods are often not complicated. Below, we give you some simple, useful, and practical tips to protect and improve your bone health and mobility.
Effects of Aging on the Bones
First, let’s discuss how aging affects the health of your bones. As you get older, your bones may experience the following issues:
1. Loss of Bone Density
With age, bone density naturally decreases, making bones very fragile and prone to easily breaking. A condition called osteoporosis, which is common in seniors, is the condition of steadily declining bone mineral density that changes the structure of the bones.
2. Reduced Calcium Absorption
The body’s ability to absorb calcium from your diet is also affected by aging. Oral calcium and vitamin D supplements are usually prescribed by doctors to support the absorption of calcium in the bones.
3. Age-Related Hormonal Changes
Hormones also undergo changes with age. Reduced estrogen levels in women are common in menopause and can lead to accelerated bone loss. Hormone therapy and lifestyle changes may help reduce the rate of bone loss.
4. Age-Related Muscle Loss
Aging often results in muscle loss, which can impact mobility and balance, increasing the risk of falls. As you age, the bones’ ability to heal also slows, which is why fracture prevention should be a top priority.
Tips for Stronger Bones and Better Mobility
There are things you can do in your senior years that can help in building stronger bones. That way, you can help remain physically active and maintain your level of mobility. Here are some tips to follow:
Eat for Good Nutrition
A diet rich in protein, fruits, and vegetables is essential for bone health. Good sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, leafy greens, and fortified cereals. Vitamin D, which is critical for calcium absorption, can be obtained through regular sunlight exposure and salmon, tuna, swordfish, and sardines. Protein from lean beef, chicken breast, eggs, tofu, sardines, and peanuts is also recommended.
Consult a healthcare professional to determine the right diet plan for your needs.
Engage in Weight-Bearing Exercises
Engaging in weight-bearing exercises helps stimulate bone growth and maintain bone density. Elliptical machines, daily walks, stair climbing, and aerobics are all doable for seniors. Resistance training with weights or resistance bands also strengthens the muscles, which plays a role in supporting bones and enhancing mobility.
Add in Balance and Flexibility Exercises
Incorporate balance and flexibility exercises like yoga or tai chi to improve stability and prevent falls. These are light exercises that you can easily get into.
Limit Alcohol and Smoking
Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can negatively affect bone health. Preserve bone density by keeping these habits in check.
Have Health Check-Ups
Periodic visits to healthcare providers allow for bone density assessments and discussions that lead to personalized recommendations for better bone health. Suspected fractures should also be treated immediately to prevent complications.
Take Fall Prevention Measures
Preventing falls is essential for seniors. Think about some of the tripping hazards at home or at work and try to address them. Mind flooring, lighting, slippery surfaces, wires, rugs, and clutter.
Sleep for Restoration
Getting enough sleep is crucial for overall health, including bone health. Sleep allows the body to repair and regenerate, supporting bone regeneration.
Orthopedic Doctors in Hartford County, CT & Springfield, MA
Our highly skilled orthopedic team at Advanced Orthopedics New England are experts in trauma and fracture care. We can provide for all your needs in one facility. Our doctors make personalized recommendations for our patients and empower them to make healthy decisions for improving bone health.
To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (860) 728-6740 or use our online request form.