Bones become more brittle and they can even break as you age. What happens is that the body absorbs the calcium and phosphate from the bones rather than keeping these all-important minerals in the bones. It shouldn’t, therefore, come as a surprise that a high number of people over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis. The medical condition itself isn’t painful. Nonetheless, when osteoporosis becomes severe, it leads to fractures, not to mention other painful outcomes. It’s paramount to protect bone health. But how? What can seniors do to keep their bones healthy? Well, if you really must know, keep on reading.
1. Include lots of calcium in your diet and pay attention to vitamin D
In case you didn’t already know, calcium plays an important role in bone health. If you get enough calcium in your diet, you don’t have to worry about developing osteoporosis. Getting enough calcium is essential for people of all ages, not just older adults. Besides helping build healthy bones, calcium helps the blood clot, and regulates the heart’s rhythm, among other things. Doctors say that it’s necessary to get your calcium from natural sources and supplements should be avoided, unless necessary. Foods that are high in calcium are oranges, broccoli, seafood, dairy, fortified foods, beans (baked or canned); the list doesn’t end here.
Now, let’s talk about vitamin D. It keeps the bones strong and healthy by helping the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish, eggs, and mushrooms. It also helps to spend time in the sunlight. Attention needs to be paid to the fact that excessive amounts of vitamin D in the body can turn out to be toxic. You see, it’s a fat-soluble vitamin, which translates into the fact that it’s better absorbed into the bloodstream. While vitamin D toxicity is rare, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Side effects include elevated blood levels, nausea, vomiting, and poor appetite.
2. Exercise regularly
Proper exercise isn’t enough to put a stop to bone loss, but it can improve bone health. Working out is beneficial in the long-term. Not only can you maximize peak bone loss but also delay the onset of osteoporosis. Think about incorporating weight-bearing exercises into your routine. For example, you can do yoga. It enhances bone mineral density in the spine. It also sharpens coordination and body awareness. Another thing you can do is brisk walking. Walking 4 hours a week significantly reduces the risk of hip fractures. You can adapt your speed to your current fitness level. If you don’t like the thought of going to the gym, go for a walk in the park with your significant other or a close friend.
Flexibility exercises are equally important. By improving your flexibility, you increase your range of motion, so you can move more freely. There are static and dynamic exercises to keep you healthy and resilient. If you don’t like the idea of doing jumping jacks or lunges, do mild stretches. Touch your toes or do side bends. If you don’t regularly engage in stretching exercises, you might find it difficult in the beginning. Train as often as you can and strive for better improvement in flexibility. Some of the benefits include reduced risk of Achilles tendon injuries and reduced risk of hamstring strains.
3. Drop your prejudices and turn to unconventional treatments
Medical problems can’t always be cured with conventional remedies. It’s necessary to think outside the box and look into other solutions. CBD, for instance, can come to the help of seniors who are struggling with issues such as bone fragility. According to the experts at Pure Hemp Farms, a company that makes available hemp flowers for both medicinal and recreational purposes, cannabis is effective when it comes to healing fractures and supporting healthier bones. The cannabinoid triggers the receptors in the brain, the outcome being decreased pain. Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory properties. To be more precise, it reduces inflammation and pain.
Quite a few studies have highlighted the benefits of CBD consumption. Hemp flowers contain a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes. So, yes, they are rich in CBD. Other advantages of CBD for older adults are help with anxiety disorders, relieving cancer treatment side effects, improving brain health, and lowering blood pressure. Certain medical professionals have already started including cannabidiol in their treatments, but it’s still necessary that cannabis receives validity from the FDA. It may not be in the mainstream yet, but there’s time. At times, it’s a good idea to step away from traditional approaches and try something new. The result might just surprise you.
4. Avoid substance abuse
Alcohol acts differently on older people. It can make worse co-occurring conditions such as heart problems, ulcers, and stomach problems. Alcohol also impacts bone health. Research indicates that substance abuse can increase the risk of osteoporosis. What happens is that drinking alcoholic beverages decreases bone density and weakens the bones’ mechanical properties. It’s fine if you have a glass of wine every now and then. However, make sure not to exaggerate. It’s not recommended to have more than one alcoholic drink a day. Ideally, you should remove alcohol from your life. It’s the best thing you can do for your overall health.
Last but certainly not least, you should cut back on smoking. Tobacco reduces the blood supply to the bones, not to mention that it slows down the production of bone-producing cells. If your bones aren’t getting sufficient calcium, tobacco is to blame. If you find it impossible to give up smoking, you should at least try to reduce your tobacco intake. It doesn’t matter how old you are, there’s something you can do about it. Think about your health and don’t look back. You’ll be setting a good example for your children and grandchildren. Breaking the addiction cycle is hard, so don’t be disappointed if you succeed the first time. You can use a nicotine inhaler to help with withdrawal symptoms and make your life easier.