Four simple tricks to keep your bones healthy 33



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We all worry about lingering pain and discomfort in our older years, and bones are a big area for concern. But there are some simple things you can do – starting today – to drive better bone health. Read on for the best tips, and tell us: which do you perform regularly?

Two in three Australians over 50 currently have either osteoporosis or osteopenia. In other words: your bones are thinner, more fragile and less healthy than they need to be for an active, happy life.

What this ultimately means is that our bones can be more easily fractured, we can suffer chronic pain from bone-related issues, and we can eventually end up with enduring and serious illness.

Most of us know that bone health is especially crucial for older women, who lose up to 10% of bone mass after menopause. Half of women over 60 will one day suffer a bone fracture as a result.

But what we aren’t often told is how preventable the bone-related issues are.

Here are four simple steps for improving your bone health. How many are you practicing daily?

Step one: Add more dairy to your day

An overwhelming 90% of Australian women over 50 fail to meet their daily intake requirements for the dairy food group. Simply consuming four serves of dairy per day will give your bones the calcium boost they need to keep strong.

A single serve can include:

  • One cup of milk (250ml)
  • ¾ cup of yoghurt (200g)
  • Two slices of cheese (40g)
  • Half a cup of ricotta cheese (120g)

Step two: Carry your weight

While we’d all love to commit to more exercise, we’re not often told which activities can best help our bones.

The answer is simple: take on activities in which your body supports its own weight. Tennis and walking are both great examples.

By performing a weight-bearing activity three or more times a week, you will not only improve your bone strength, but also your muscle strength and agility – all of which will be increasingly essential to our livelihood in the years to come.

Step three: Soak in some sun

A little vitamin D will help absorb calcium, as well as regulate it in your bloodstream. Make sure you get a small, healthy amount of sun exposure every day. This amount will vary wildly based on your location, so be sure to balance this against your usual skin safety precautions. 

Step four: Commit to change – here and now

For Australian women over 50, it’s never been easier to improve your bone health.

As part of this year’s Healthy Bones Action Week, women are invited to sign up for the free Fit, Fab and 50 Challenge, running from 3 to 9 August.

The Challenge is easy: enjoy four serves from the dairy food group, participate in weight-bearing exercise and soak up some sunshine for vitamin D every day for seven days.

Participants will receive tips, healthy and easy-to-make recipes, fitness suggestions and advice from a team of hand-picked experts – not to mention the chance to win some fabulous prizes.

Sign up today at to kick-start your journey to better bone health.


Have you dealt with osteoporosis? Do you feel like you’re doing enough for your bone health today? And what would you like to change?


This post was sponsored by Dairy Australia. It was written as we feel it offers vital insights into a health topic important to the Starts at 60 community. Learn more at the Healthy Bones Action Week website.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Adequate sun exposure and walking more are great tips but I dispute that eating dairy is beneficial, there are other better sources of calcium. Dairy is very mucous forming and actually indigestible for many people..I rarely eat it.

  2. Oh dear, here come the dairy knockers. Such a shame some people are so anti-dairy. I think a lot of it comes from animal activist videos viewed from America (which are shocking), turning people off the dairy industry. Old wives tale that it’s mucous forming and only some people are lactose intolerant. Love my dairy products, especially greek yoghurt. Go dairy!

    2 REPLY
    • It is NOT an “old wives tale”….. It depends on each INDIVIDUAL’S metabolism. And I still maintain that dairy is NOT the optimum source of dietary calcium. I have a history of calcium metabolism balance and my body certainly did NOT crave dairy in a desperate effort to maintain homeostasis.

    • Bronwen Bannister, if you google “does milk cause mucous?”, you will discover this is no longer the case, as we were all lead to believe for years.

  3. My father was a dairy farmer and I was born on the farm in Nowra but these days dairies have been industrialised and the welfare of the animals comes second to the profits to be made. There is tremendous cruelty in the dairy industry.

    3 REPLY
    • Yet another Australian industry targeted by animal libbers with their exaggerated data and showing videos from overseas. Australian dairies are well regulated. I live next door to a dairy and you never saw such well looked after, contented cows. Don’t believe everything you hear or see.

    • Absolutely agree, Helen. Sadly, ditto to the egg industry, beef industry, pork industry etc. It’s all horrendously cruel. Nobody cares about animals, they’re just commodities.

  4. I recently saw an exercise physiologist because I have a knee which needs replacing. He recommended a gym program to strengthen muscles in my legs before the operation. I felt a difference after the first week. Using weights I never thought I could lift. He supervises every session. I am 65. And feel better than I have in years.

  5. I am now on Prolia injections every 6 months. Vitamin D and calcium supplements. Walking. Weight bearing aqua aerobics. Unfortunately I have several compression fractures in my back. Was told to not fall over or pick up anything heavy. Well,,,,,,,yes, sounds like a good plan to me.

  6. I am good with this advice, the thing I would add though is take a good quality multi vitamin daily.

  7. A bone density check shows l am osteopeanic..The endocrinologist says this is what he expected of a British raised person of my age.68..A good diet & lots of weight bearing excercise has not saved me 🙁

    2 REPLY

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