As you read yesterday, osteoporosis is a condition that can sneak up on you, reducing bone strength, impacting your height and increasing your risk for fracture. It's not just older adults that should be concerned: adults with Down's syndrome are also prone to early-onset of bone loss, especially if they are on anti-seizure medication. There are ways to prevent these complications, and at Cambridge of Branson, we can help with many of them!
Older adults should aim to have at least two hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, which includes muscle–strengthening activities on two or more of those days. Weight-bearing exercises that require your body to work against gravity, such as aerobics, strengthens bones and the muscles that support them.
Medical News Today also suggests strengthening your core muscles to maintain good posture to support the spinal column. The following core exercises are great ways to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles:
Abdominal crunch: Laying on the back with knees bent and feet on the floor, raise the head and shoulders using the core muscles.
Plank: Keep abdominal muscles engaged, hold the position at the top of a push-up.
Superman: Laying on the stomach, extend the arms, legs, and head off the floor and hold.
Follow a Healthy Diet
A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is necessary to keep bones strong and prevent loss of height. The Huffington Post reports that “women older than 50 need 1,200 milligrams of calcium every day to keep their bones strong, according to the National Institutes of Health.”
Vitamin D is responsible for helping your body absorb calcium and “most women need 600 IU of the vitamin a day, while women older than 70 need 800 IU.”
Foods rich in calcium include almonds, broccoli, dairy, kale, salmon and tofu; while egg yolks, fortified milk and fish offer great sources of vitamin D.
Protect Your Bones
An article in Medical News Today entitled “Can You Increase Your Height as an Adult?” suggests that there are several important risk factors that you can control to prevent osteoporosis, such as:
Avoiding smoking cigarettes
Exercising regularly, including weight-bearing exercises
Getting plenty of rest
Maintaining adequate nutrition
Staying properly hydrated
Taking a proactive approach to your health and getting screened for osteoporosis is also within your control. The Cleveland Clinic suggests that “screening for bone density typically begins around the time of menopause for women – in their mid-to-late-40s, while men usually begin screening in their mid-60s.”
If you're concerned about bone loss and the risk of fracture for yourself or someone in your care, see if Cambridge of Branson can help. We provide regular nutrition every day as well as exercise opportunities. Give us a call and claim your free day to try us out!