Avoid Osteoporosis Later in Life
11 Feb 2023

5 Ways to Avoid Osteoporosis Later in Life

Did you know, globally it is estimated that there are more than 200 million people currently suffering with osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition which causes the bones to become brittle and weak, leaving them more vulnerable to breaks. Typically, middle-aged individuals are most commonly affected, for numerous reasons. The menopause for example, can noticeably speed up bone loss and increase your risk of osteoporosis. Women going through the menopause can experience up to 20% of bone loss during this period.

Middle-aged men are also at risk due to declining testosterone levels associated with ageing. Testosterone helps to maintain healthy muscles and strong bones. Testosterone deficiencies have been linked with low bone density levels so again, as we grow older, we need to be more vigilant.

Our bones are made from living tissue. In order for them to stay strong, the body breaks down old bone tissue and replaces it with new, stronger bone tissue. Osteoporosis occurs when more bone tissue happens to be broken down than replaced.

The good news is that osteoporosis can often be prevented. Here are 5 ways to avoid osteoporosis later in life:

Try to maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight is not good for your health for numerous reasons. Not only does it leave you susceptible to chronic illness and issues such as strokes and heart attacks, it can also affect your bones.

If you are too heavy, your bones are forced to take more weight, which in turn puts them under a lot of strain and pressure. Not only that, but fat can be stored within bone marrow, which can also cause the bones to become brittle.

Try to maintain a healthy weight through a combination of diet and exercise.

Incorporate more weight bearing exercises into your exercise regime

Weight bearing and resistance exercises are amongst the most effective forms of exercise for people at risk of, or suffering from, osteoporosis.

Weight bearing exercises for example, are simply forms of exercise or activity where your body is forced to bear the brunt of your weight. This could be dancing, stretching, jogging, running, playing sport, performing bodyweight exercises, and things of that nature.

Resistance exercise is exercise usually performed with weights, or against some form of resistance, that is designed to increase strength and muscle mass.

Weight bearing exercises and resistance exercises have both been found to help restore bone density, strengthen the bones and joints, and increase bone mass.

Don’t smoke

As if you needed another reason to quit smoking, smoking has also been found to contribute to osteoporosis.

Nicotine interacts with the way that Oestrogen is used in the body, which in turn reduces your bone mineral density and puts you at risk of brittle bones and osteoporosis.

Get plenty of calcium

Calcium is a mineral that plays a key role in a wide range of different aspects of everyday living. One of its main benefits however, is the fact that it helps to strengthen the teeth and bones. Calcium deficiencies have been linked with brittle bone disease and osteoporosis, so getting enough of the mineral is essential.

Calcium is absorbed by the bones where it is used to strengthen the bones and increase bone mineral density.

Commonly found in sources of dairy such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, calcium is essential when it comes to osteoporosis prevention later on in life.

Don’t forget to get enough vitamin D

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is a very important vitamin when it comes to osteoporosis and calcium intake.

You see, vitamin D facilitates the uptake of calcium into the bones and assists with calcium absorption. Without sufficient amounts of vitamin D, most of the calcium we consume would simply go to waste, rather than being absorbed into the bones. With vitamin D, the calcium is absorbed into the bones.

Try to ensure you get at least 15 minutes of sunlight exposure (without getting burnt), eat foods rich in vitamin D such as oily fish and red meat, and consider a daily vitamin D supplement, especially in the winter.

Keeping physically well in midlife is important and so is being around like-minded people,  so why not join my supportive midlife community on Facebook.