Bone health & older women: how to stay strong

Sunrise Senior Living  |  September 22, 2017

Our bones begin to age long before the body hits retirement. That 

That is almost always a surprise to people! How you treat your body in younger years can impact how healthy your bones are as you grow older. The good news is, it’s never too late to start thinking about bone health. It’s especially true if you’re a woman. 

No matter what your age, staying strong is important for your bones.

And drinking milk isn’t enough. Of course it’s good to think about calcium intake, but keeping your bones healthy and strong is more involved.

Bone Health: How Older Women Can Stay Strong

Once we reach age 30, our bones have essentially reached their peak. While that may seem hard to believe, it’s important to realize that there are steps you can take to keep bones strong and dense. 

Here’s what you need to know.

You Can Alter Your Bone Density Path

During youth, our bodies are producing bones faster than they are being broken down. After the ripe old age of 30, however, this production balance tips. Our net production of bone begins to drop. For some women, that translates to a loss of bone density that worsens every year.

That’s a grim picture, but there are several steps you can take to slow down that process.

Exercise is Key

Of the factors that you can control, the one that stands out is exercise.

Exercise is important for preventing and combatting a number of health issues, but older women often aren’t aware that staying active helps bone health, too.

One health concern among older women is osteoporosis. Did you know that living a sedentary lifestyle puts you at greater risk for this disease? According to the National Institutes of Health, the benefit from weight-bearing exercises helps keep bones strong.

Diet Also Matters

Coffee and tea with caffeine are said to be good for brain health, but too much can weaken your body’s ability to absorb calcium. We all know the importance of calcium for bone health. You can enjoy your morning cup of joe, but don’t overdo it.

Heavy alcohol consumption also may have a negative effect on bone health. Like drinking too much coffee, heavy alcohol consumption can interfere with vitamin D levels in your body. Vitamin D is essential for a healthy skeleton.

Surprisingly, potassium also may play an important role in bone health. One reason bones weaken is that certain acids in your body work to remove calcium. Potassium may work to neutralize those acids, so try to incorporate bananas, sweet potatoes, and yogurt into your diet.

Other nutrients to take in for bone health include vitamin D, vitamin K, and of course, calcium.

Smoking is Bad for the Bones

Another factor which interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium is smoking. As if you needed yet another reason to quit, think of your bones if you are a smoker.

A Healthy Lifestyle is Part of the Sunrise Experience

As is true of many health factors, your lifestyle can make a tremendous difference in how your body ages. Older women who commit to a healthy diet and exercise patterns can keep their skeletons strong.

From our excellent dining program to our Live With Purpose signature activities programs, we take health and wellness seriously at Sunrise. Come see for yourself how our residents thrive by booking a tour at a community near you

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