Aging is inevitable, but losing your health early on doesn’t have to be. One of the issues that can plague people as they age is a loss in bone density. Osteoporosis opens you up to multiple health problems, including an increased risk for broken bones. It’s important to maintain strong bones as you age, so how can you do that?
Exercise has tons of health benefits, one of which is its role in maintaining strong bones. The density of your bones responds to the load you place on them. Load-bearing exercises such as weight lifting increase the load placed on your bones. When done repeatedly and over a long period, your bones become denser, specifically in the area and direction of the strain being placed on them.
Get More Calcium
When you think about what it takes to have strong bones, calcium is probably one of the first on the list. After all, how many ads did you see when you were younger about how drinking milk helped you grow strong bones because they were a good source of calcium? Having adequate dietary calcium helps protect your bones. It is recommended for men to consume 1,000 mg of calcium a day until age 70, and for women to consume the same until age 50. After that, recommendations increase to 1,200 mg per day. There are many sources of dietary calcium, including soy products, dairy products, broccoli, almonds, kale, and lean meat. Lean meat does double duty in terms of your benefits. Lean meat not only contains protein, but it also has high levels of calcium.
Reduce Dietary Salt and Caffeine
While some foods provide your body with calcium, others prevent you from absorbing it. You need some salt in your diet to stay healthy, but the average diet contains far more than enough to meet your health needs. Excess salt, highly processed foods, and caffeinated beverages can prevent your body from absorbing the calcium you intake. For the sake of your bones, as well as your overall health, make an effort to reduce the salt and caffeine in your diet.
Keeping your bones strong is an important step to take in protecting your health as you age. You can help maintain the strength of your bones by lifting weights, getting more calcium, and reducing your dietary salt and caffeine. The earlier you take measures to protect the strength of your bones, the more slowly you’ll lose bone density, so start now if you haven’t already.
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