It is true that as we age we lose bone density – which can lead to osteoporosis – a disease which makes the bones brittle, fragile, and prone to break. Fractured bones can lead to falls causing severe head trauma, hip fractures, and even death. However, the good news is there are many things seniors can do to keep their bones strong and healthy, including following these tips:
Daily Dose of Minerals & Vitamins
Calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K all promote stronger bones. Calcium plays a crucial part in building a block of bone tissue while Vitamin D helps the body absorb and process calcium. Together, these two nutrients are the foundation of healthy bones. These kinds of minerals and vitamins can not only be found in supplements, but in various foods too, including dairy products like cheese and milk are good sources of calcium and Vitamin D. For Vitamin K, seniors can look to green vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, or kale. The Institute of Medicine recommends 1,000 mg of calcium a day for most senior female adults and 1,200 mg/day for senior male adults.
A Balanced Diet
Eating healthy is crucial to maintaining strong bones. At San Simeon by the Sound we ensure our residents are getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy and keep their bones strong. We highly encourage residents to choose calcium-rich foods like yogurt, cheese, and milk as well as foods that have a lot of Vitamin D such as soy, rice, orange juice, egg yolks, and fatty fish like salmon.
Potassium, Vitamin K and Magnesium are also good nutrients for keeping bones strong. These important nutrients can be found in a variety of healthy foods like vegetables, fruit, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grains and fish. Protein is also essential as it helps build muscle, which supports keeping bones strong. Proteins can be found in chicken, beef, fish, and shellfish.
Exercise Leads to Fewer Falls
According to Reuters, researchers have found seniors who exercise reduce their chances of broken bones by 61 percent. Specifically, weight-bearing and resistant exercises, such as walking, swimming, water aerobics, and dancing can help reduce bone loss by improving muscle tone. Other activities like Tai Chi and yoga can also help improve balance, coordination, and strength.
San Simeon by the Sound was pleased to have Dr. Marilyn LoPresti, founder and CEO of North Fork Bodies in Motion, LLC, give their residents a Tai Chi demonstration earlier this month.
Other Ways to Protect Your Bones
Poor eyesight can affect a senior’s mobility and balance so it’s important that they go for an eye exam every year. Ear problems can also affect balance, thus getting their hearing checked is something to consider as well. Medications are another thing that can affect a senior’s mobility, making them feel dizzy or drowsy. At San Simeon, we review our residents’ medicines with their GP or pharmacist so we are aware of such side effects.