The reality we face as we get older is that our bones WILL get thinner, weaker and lose their density. As our bones become weaker the risk of falling becomes much more serious. We all go through that harsh reality of bone loss but the level in which we experience it will vary from person to person. The good news is that there are options out there for us to halt and slowdown that bone “weakening” process. We don’t have to live in fear or avoid doing activities we love because we’re getting older!! I will highlight some key tips to slow down that inevitable weakening of the bones. As you read along think of ways that you can implement these tips into your daily life…don’t hesitate. These are things you can start applying TODAY and if you are at a loss of where to begin or feel overwhelmed then reach out to us at (512) 730-0231. We will be happy to point you in the right direction or help you formulate a plan to stay healthy, active, and independent! You are NEVER TOO OLD to turn things around for yourself so keep reading to learn more about keeping your bones healthy.
Listed below are my 4 tips that I recommend to most of our clients to keep their bones healthy and slow down the bone “weakening” process:
1. EAT YOUR VEGETABLES: Now this is the most obvious tip BUT it is the most important, which is why I listed it first! This statement has been ringing in our ears since we were kids. We heard it from our parents or teachers and now that we’re older we hear it from our children or doctors. In relation to bone health, though, why is this so important? Well that’s because vegetables are THE BEST form of Vitamin C, which stimulates production of bone-forming cells. However, the only way for this to truly take effect is if we consume RAW vegetables as much as possible. To further stimulate this production studies have shown that greens and yellows help with bone mineralization. Think bell peppers, broccoli, or kale as a starting point as these actually have more Vitamin C than oranges!
2. GET SOME VITAMIN D: We know how important calcium is for building strong bones but in order to absorb the benefits of calcium it’s important that we get our daily dosage of Vitamin D! The typical combined calcium-vitamin D pills are usually not enough to meet the daily recommended dosage. Luckily for us Texans we have one of the best sources of Vitamin D right outside our door…the sun. Now, it doesn’t take too much time outside to get healthy amounts. As little as a 10-30-minute stroll will do the trick and help you stay active. Another option, if you’re unable to make it out-side, is to take a Vitamin D supplement, which is different than the combined calcium-vitamin D pills I wrote about earlier. Talk to your doctor to find out exactly how much Vitamin D you should be taking.
3. GET YOUR BONE DENSITY TESTED: These tests have really evolved over time making it quite easy to get your bone density tested. Doctors can get a quick and painless snapshot of your bone health with a test called DXA which is just simply an x-ray of your bones. These tests can tell you a lot about the current state of your bone mineral density and your calcium levels. Your doctor will look over these results and determine your risk of osteoporosis and fractures. They may start to see the beginnings of osteoporosis, known as Osteopenia. This could be your perfect starting point to begin formulating a plan for your next action steps to being a healthier you! (Read the ask the expert section to learn more about the difference between Osteopenia and Osteoporosis.)
4. EXERCISE: Are you surprised? You know I had to throw that tip in there for you! Now when I speak of exercise for bone health I am specifically talking about weight-bearing exercise and strength training. In order to perform weight-bearing exercise like dancing, walking, or simply going up and down stairs you must begin with resistance training (or bone loading). This means to begin with lighter weights at higher repetitions to work towards muscle fatigue. Start with 2 sets of 10 and over time you can increase the intensity, technique and form- they are key here! Of course, it is always recommended that you consult with a professional before starting a rigorous strength-training and weight-bearing program. (E.g. Physical Therapist.)
If you’re thinking to yourself that you’re ready to put these tips to use, especially #4, then our team at Natural Fit Therapy will be there for you! We have specifically designed wellness programs that are meant for people like you. Our therapists will create a program specifically for your needs to not only help you achieve your goals but to slow down that inevitable bone “weakening” process we discussed earlier.
To get started, simply call our office at (512) 730-0231. If you’re not quite ready to make that jump or unsure what program is right for you then schedule a FREE Discovery Visit with one of our doctors of physical therapy to get all your questions answered. Just visit our website https://naturalfittherapy.com/free-taster/ to schedule. Or you can give us a call if the internet isn’t your thing!! 😉