Calls for seniors to take more care with bone health

hands holding milk
Consuming calcium and vitamin D can help keep bones strong.

Seniors are being urged to take action on their bone health to avoid becoming a statistic of osteoporosis later in life.

The bone thinning disease is on the rise among Australia’s ageing population and is responsible for more than 140,000 bone fractures a year.

Wrist, spine and hip fractures are the most common and often spell the end of independent living.

However, a few simple lifestyle and diet tweaks can make a huge difference to maintaining the growth of your bone mineral density which naturally diminishes with age, Dr Belinda Beck of The Bone Clinic said.

Read more: Study finds osteoarthritis linked to this popular diet

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“We see a lot of women and men in their 40s and 50s who are surprised to find that they are not getting the recommended amounts of calcium or vitamin D, despite believing they eat plenty of dairy and get enough time in the sun,” she explains.

“You need to have strong levels of vitamin D throughout the year for your bones to absorb calcium and support proper skeletal health.

“You also need to keep your bones strong by undertaking physical exercise that really tests your frame, such as weight training or high impact exercise which incorporates jumping. “

Read more: Breakthrough in osteoporosis treatment for over-60s

Dr Beck has overseen a number of her patients follow their Bone Clinic prescribed exercise and lifestyle plan to overturn their osteoporosis or osteopenia diagnosis.

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However, she says prevention is better than a cure.

“Maintaining bone health in your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond is key to avoiding osteoporosis later in life,” she says.

“We encourage everyone to take action on their bone health now and ensure they are in the sun for a few minutes on most days in summer, getting at least three serves of dairy a day for calcium and undertake regular bone loading exercise, at least twice a week.

Have you started thinking about keeping your bones healthy? How often do you exercise?