Half of all Americans over the age of 50 are expected to have osteoporosis by 2020, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Though while our bones naturally age as we do, there are things you can do to prevent osteoporosis no matter how old you are.
A silent disease often undetected , osteoporosis is a condition which makes your bones weak and more likely to break. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is common in older women. As many as half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
As Barbara Hanna Grufferman says, preventing low bone mass is simple, and taking these steps can reduce your risk of breaking bones and suffering from osteoporosis. Here are 6 really easy ways to strengthen your bones.
1. Walk or Run Daily
Daily exercise isn’t only good for your waistline and even mental health, but it can improve your bone health as well. It increases muscle mass which can similarly protect you as you age.
2. Increase Green Vegetable Consumption
Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are packed with calcium and other important nutrients. They are an easy way to get stronger bones while reaping numerous other nutritional benefits as well.
3. Get Plenty of Vitamin D
Vitamin D, which our body creates after exposure to the sun, is crucial in helping your body absorb calcium. But many people are deficient or near-deficient. For older adults, it’s particularly important to get enough vitamin D.
4. Add Prunes
In 2011, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that prunes were superior to other fruits in helping maintain bone density. Compared with women who ate dried apples daily, those who ate prunes had “significantly higher” bone density levels as measured in the arm and the spine.
5. Drink Green Tea and Do Tai Chi
Research has connected green tea with an array of health benefits, and improved bone strength is just one of them. One study that looked at the combined effects of green tea and tai chi found that women who used both had increased markers of bone health above and beyond women who drank only the tea. And the women who drank green tea but did no tai chi had healthier bones than women who abstained from both.
6. Strength Train
Lift some dumbbells or do push-ups. Strength training is good for your bones, and is something you can do without a gym membership. Some research has found that not only will strength training help you create muscle mass and prevent breaking bones, but could actually help build new bone.
If nearly half of all adults over 50 are set to have osteoporosis by 2020, we aren’t doing enough to protect our bones. Fortunately, these are simple solutions.