Health & Wellness

Healthy Bones Action Week – The recipe for healthy bones

August 21, 2018
Women Over 50 Health & Wellness

Are your bones strong and healthy? Does your body get enough calcium, Vitamin D and daily movement?

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation,

Worldwide, 1 in 3 women over age 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will 1 in 5 men aged over 50. Osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds. Osteoporosis is estimated to affect 200 million women worldwide.

In my post ‘Women’s Health Week – Time to put your health first’, I wrote about the initiative in September for Women to focus on their health as a priority.  As part of this initiative, each week I will be writing about Women’s Health and what you can do to be healthy and active Over 50.

Healthy Bones Action Week 20 – 26 August, puts the spotlight on building strong bones to prevent Osteoporosis. 

Previously I’ve written a series on Osteoporosis so you might like to check out the following posts for more information:

Osteoporosis – What it means to you in Midlife & Beyond?

This is a disease which affects both men and women with the numbers affected increasing with age. An assessment by J A Kanis for the WHO (2007) estimated that more than 200 million women worldwide would be affected by the disease.

The body loses minerals, such as calcium,at a rate faster than the body can replace them.  This causes a loss of bone thickness which is referred to as bone density or mass.

Bones become brittle which can lead to a higher risk of breaks and fractures that are normal.  It is sometimes referred to as the ‘silent disease’ because there are no symptoms.  Read the full article here

How is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?

Osteoporosis is often called the ‘silent disease’ because there are no symptoms, although there are risk factors we can look for. It can only be diagnosed by undergoing a bone density test which is done before any bones are broken. The test shows the density of our bones and the chance of breaking a bone. As previously mentioned, as we age our bones become less dense and brittle and even a small bump can result in a fracture.  Read about What is involved in a Bone Density Test

Ways to maintain bone strength

Just because we age doesn’t mean we will suffer from Osteoporosis even if your bone density test shows risk.  There are ways to maintain bone strength and reduce the risk of Osteoporosis.

It is never too early to start and the Mayo Clinic suggests that our bones peak density is in our 30’s.  So what do we do if we are at Midlife or older?  Read more about Ways to Maintain Bone Strength.

The recipe for healthy bones

Mix calcium with daily movement and sunshine to keep bones healthy.  Then add balance, strength, endurance and flexibility.

Although Osteoporosis is known as the silent disease because there are no symptoms, it doesn’t mean you can’t try to prevent it. Apart from exercising there are vitamins and minerals found in our foods which can assist in improving bone strength. There are also some that we should avoid. Foods to eat and those to avoid to improve bone strength

Balance, Strength, Endurance and Flexibility

Our bones become brittle and less dense as we age but we can improve this with regular and specific exercises.  Exercises that focus on balance, strength, endurance and flexibility should all be part of a regular program.   Exercises to build bone strength & balance

Have you thought about your bone health?  What changes can you make to ensure your bones are strong and healthy?

For me, I’ve not had a bone density test so I’ll be arranging to make an appointment.

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

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  • Reply cherie August 21, 2018 at 20:04

    This is so important! I cant tell you how many women came to the ER after a break then fall. They were just simply walking and their hip would break, then they would fall only to break another bone or more!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 22, 2018 at 05:36

      I know Cherie, I was always concerned about my mother-in-law as she got older. She is now 92 and has a walker to keep her steady but when she first moved into the aged care home she had a fall. Thank goodness she didn’t break any bones!

  • Reply Kim Duncan August 22, 2018 at 05:29

    I had my thyroid surgically removed 2 years ago and with it the parathyroid so I have to take a prescription-strength calcium supplement daily. I know I need to start lifting but it is just NOT something I enjoy! I guess I would enjoy being in a cast less though, right? Thanks, Sue.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 22, 2018 at 05:33

      Hi Kim, just going for a brisk walk can help and I don’t like weight training either. Perhaps you could try some weight bearing exercises without lifting? Take care xx

      • Reply Jennifer August 28, 2018 at 21:41

        Yoga is a great example of a weight-bearing exercise. People think it’s just stretching and meditation, but it’s not.

        • Reply Sue Loncaric August 29, 2018 at 13:57

          I used to think yoga was not really a workout, Jennifer, but once I really started regular yoga practice I found that is was a wonderful form of strength training. 🙂

  • Reply Donna August 22, 2018 at 08:09

    Hi, Sue – Thank you for this very important reminder. While I am usually high on daily movement and sunshine (when we are not having 7 months of rain), I know that I am low in my calcium intake. I am off to change that now! #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 22, 2018 at 09:36

      Hi Donna, I know you are aware of keeping healthy and active but like me, I need reminding sometimes. I’ve just started taking glucosomine for my joints which are helping. xx

  • Reply Agnes August 22, 2018 at 08:23

    My lovely, wonderful physio prescribed a fairly stringent set of exercises for me after I blew my knee out a couple of months ago. I’m loving getting back my strength and balance and can’t wait to ramp it up. As a former seniors’ fitness instructor, I’ve seen first hand the importance of strength, flexibility and balance!! Great reminder, thank you!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 22, 2018 at 09:46

      Great news, Agnes! It is hard to get back into fitness and strength when you have been in pain. I would have loved to have been a fitness instructor but at the moment I am contenting myself by starting a small life coaching business. Have a beautiful day and look forward to your guest post this week. xx

  • Reply Natalie August 22, 2018 at 10:26

    Hi Sue – This is a great reminder. I follow what you wrote as recipe for healthy bones and so far the test showed my bone density is good. I walk daily, even in the winter, and fortunately we do have many sunny days where I live. I also do weights, balance exercises, yoga, and try to eat foods that are good source of calcium.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 22, 2018 at 16:23

      Hi Natalie, I know you are ‘speaking my language’ regarding health and fitness and you are a great role model. xx

  • Reply Christine Field August 22, 2018 at 10:59

    AND, ya know what? If you don’t stay loose and limber ya get nasty things like frozen shoulder. Not fun! But it was my body’s excellent reminder to KEEP MOVING AND GROOVING.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 22, 2018 at 16:24

      Moving & Grooving – love it! That is the key Christine and although we use the word exercise, we should be keeping fit doing activities that we enjoy. Frozen shoulders aren’t fun – my husband had one. Thanks for stopping by and keep moving and grooving! LOL:)

  • Reply Leanne | August 22, 2018 at 11:51

    Hi Sue – it’s amazing all the little things we have to keep in mind as we get older. Our brains may think we’re still 20, but our bodies need a little bit more maintenance. This was a great reminder as to why it’s so important to keep exercising.
    Looking forward to our 30th MLSTL party – and I’ve shared this on my SM xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 22, 2018 at 16:25

      I know Leanne, sometimes I forget I’m 61 (tomorrow) and even though I am very fit for my age, my body does tell me when it isn’t feeling good and I have to listen to it and not overdo it! Yes 30th MLSTL where has the time gone but it has certainly been a success! xx

  • Reply Jennifer Jones August 22, 2018 at 13:01

    This is such an important subject Sue. Especially so as a decrease in bone strength creeps up on us, without warning. . I’m really looking forward to further posts in the series. Sharing on SM #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 22, 2018 at 16:28

      With your fitness background, Jen you would know how important it is to keep our bodies healthy including our bones. Thanks for sharing and hope I don’t disappoint in future posts. xx

  • Reply Jan Wild August 22, 2018 at 15:13

    Really important post Sue, I have borderline osteopenia so this is close to my heart and also dovetails nicely with my post this week on preventing falls. Sharing

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 22, 2018 at 16:22

      Hi Jan! It is such an important topic and I’m pleased that it fits with your post for the week. A double whammy! 🙂 My mother-in-law has had a couple of falls and was very fortunate not to break anything. I don’t think that people realise the importance of balance exercises as you mentioned in your post. Just as important as strength training. 🙂

  • Reply Debbie Harris August 22, 2018 at 20:30

    This is very timely Sue and great information you’ve shared for us all. Thanks and sharing for #mlstl

  • Reply Candi Randolph August 22, 2018 at 20:40

    Hi Sue, I try to keep my bones healthy and strong as I get older. But your post has reminded me that I have not yet had my bi-annual bone density check up. I will get that on the calendar! Thanks

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2018 at 14:35

      Glad that the post was a helpful reminder, Candi. Take care and have a beautiful week! xx

  • Reply Victoria August 22, 2018 at 22:31

    I was diagnosed years ago with osteoporosis and have been on meds since. I do weight bearing exercise and sometimes I flip back to osteopenia. I am scheduled in Oct. for my test.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2018 at 14:33

      Fingers crossed for good results, Victoria. I’ve never had a test so I really think I should book one in, even though I do regularly work out with strength training and running. Have a beautiful day xx

  • Reply Lori Jo August 23, 2018 at 02:59

    Great post, Sue. I was on Arimidex for a few years as a follow-up medication to breast cancer 8 years ago. I have been off of it for one year and had a bone density scan before my oncologist appointment two weeks ago. Doggone it if I didn’t drop one point to osteopenia from that medication. The doctor told me I can rebuild it with more greens and weights in addition to vitamin supplements. My blood work showed that my calcium was above normal, yet this damage still occurred. I will admit I did stop extra calcium tablets for a few months because they made me nauseated, but later I was able to tolerate the gummies. I hope it will show a jump up at my appointment next year. Even though I have a 4-mile walking routine 5 days per week, he said that the weights have to be added for a greater benefit.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2018 at 14:32

      Hi Lori Jo, I’m sorry to hear that you have battled breast cancer but look at you now – glowing and healthy. Light weights do help and we don’t have to look like a heavy weightlifter for them to make a difference. Take care. xx

  • Reply 1010ParkPlace August 23, 2018 at 05:50

    This is such a timely post for me. Last week I had a bone density scan and while my spine still has the same score, my hips have lost ground. I’ve been on a “Boniva vacation” for the last year, so I’m starting that again. I also read your piece on exercises for building bone strength… I’m already doing all of those. When the weather gets cooler, I’ll start walking the dogs, again, so that will help as well. Great post! Brenda #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2018 at 14:29

      Hi Brenda, I really need to have a bone density test. I workout regularly and run a couple of times a week, so I feel that my body and bones are strong. It wouldn’t hurt me to have that confirmed though. Thanks for linking up at #MLSTL and have a beautiful day x

  • Reply Leslie Clingan August 23, 2018 at 07:11

    Hey Sug, I am proof that weight bearing activity improves bone density. Had a recent bone density test and my results were better than the last one a year ago. My endocrinologist asked if I was lifting weights and I am!!! My broken foot in January put the fear in me!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2018 at 14:28

      You are looking fabulous, Leslie and your training is really showing! Have a great week, my friend xx

  • Reply Christie Hawkes August 23, 2018 at 11:12

    I live a pretty healthy lifestyle, but I think I should focus more on balance and flexibility. I do a little yoga, but could definitely up my game in that area. Thanks for getting me thinking. Perhaps this will be on my fall bucket list! #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2018 at 14:25

      Our PT would always include some balance and stretching in our sessions and I’ve just kept going from there, Christie. Lovely to hear from you and hope all is well in your world. Have a lovely day xx

  • Reply Min@WriteoftheMiddle August 23, 2018 at 11:25

    Healthy Bones Action Week is such a fabulous initiative Sue. I wrote a piece for them one year. Osteoporosis is something so important to be aware of for us women. If we act early, hopefully we can prevent it being an issue for us. I haven’t had a bone density test but probably should. However, I’m confident I’m doing all the right things *touch wood*! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2018 at 14:24

      Yes I recently read about it, Min and thought it was a good time to remind us all about the importance of keeping our bones strong and healthy. I feel I do enough but haven’t had a bone density test – perhaps I should just confirm all is okay 🙂

  • Reply Joanne Tracey August 23, 2018 at 12:36

    An important post – and something that I could up my game in for sure.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2018 at 14:23

      Hi Jo, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded does it? I need a bone density test so need to make that appointment. x

  • Reply Janet Mary Cobb August 23, 2018 at 12:51

    Thanks for the reminder Sue — I have considered my manual labor most of the summer as my weight training, but I’ve been percolating how I will return to a previous routine of at least light-level weight training as the projects wind down. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2018 at 14:22

      Thanks Janet, I need to have a bone density test but feel with all the training I do that my bones are pretty strong. I should get that confirmed though 🙂

  • Reply Denyse Whelan August 23, 2018 at 13:11

    The ONE good news story about when I was very overweight was that it ‘helped my bones stay strong’ and as a result, the last bone density I had probably around 6 to 7 years ago I was told don’t come back for 10. My health is generally good – apart from recovering from cancer – and I try to move my body each day. My balance – standing still then pivoting- can be a little concerning since the fibula was removed from my right leg. I would like to do some weights training (hand held) but arthritis in wrists and hands and some shoulder issues prevent that. Denyse #mlstl Happy Birthday to YOU!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2018 at 14:21

      Your health is good Denyse because you were able to fight the cancer and unfortunately, I think we all suffer from arthrities or rheumatism as we age. I’m so happy that you are feeling good and have won the fight! Thank you for your lovely birthday wishes also. Have a beautiful day xx

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl August 23, 2018 at 13:24

    I had a body scan last week and it was encouraging to see where my bone, muscle and fat mass were compared to what is healthy for my age. The results have kept me motivated to keep on keeping on!

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2018 at 14:20

      Oh you are good SSG, I haven’t had one and I’m guilty of thinking that because I exercise regularly my bones are pretty strong. I need to make and appointment!

  • Reply Vanessa August 23, 2018 at 15:04

    I’ve never had a bone density test but I am working on my overall health again now we’ve moved – back to the gym it is!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 24, 2018 at 07:07

      Hi Vanessa, I’ve never had a bone density test either but I need to book one in. Great news that you are back to the gym and I hope you are settling well into your new home. Have a great week! x

  • Reply Kathy Marris August 23, 2018 at 16:19

    Yes bone health has been something I’ve thought about since reaching menopause. My doctor sent me off for a bone density test when I reached 50 and since then I’ve been taking Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D3 supplements daily. I think I’m on track with the recommendations with diet, exercise, etc. It’s always good to be reminded about these things as we age. #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 24, 2018 at 07:08

      You are looking healthy and fabulous, Kathy and the pilates would certainly be helping your bone strength together with the vitamins and minerals. It doesn’t take much to keep our bones strong and healthy but it is so worth it. Have a great weekend, I suppose you are packing? xx

  • Reply Molly August 24, 2018 at 05:19

    Well, I never gave much thought to bone health until 2016. That January I tripped over the dog gate (my husband said he never saw anyone fall so quickly and so hard). As a result, I broke my humerus bone (which is now fortified with a titanium rod) and fractured my hip (three screws now ensure it will stay put). If that wasn’t bad enough… five months later the Bassett tripped me and I broke the other humerus (although no rod was needed in its repair).

    I’m not sure these breaks were a result of brittle bones, but it definitely gave me cause for concern.

    I will pin this informative article for future reference. LOTS of links to read over the next several days.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 24, 2018 at 07:16

      Falls can happen when we least expect them, can’t they Molly? Touch wood, I haven’t had one yet but I hope that my bones are strong enough to withstand a fall. Keeping fit and remembering strength and balance exercises are ways I am trying to look after my body and prevent mishaps. Thanks so much for pinning and have a beautiful day. xx

  • Reply Deborah August 24, 2018 at 08:03

    I had a bone density test over a decade ago (probably more like 15yrs now) when I was first diagnosed as coeliac. I was worried as I wasn’t a big fan of calcium type products, but then I realise of course (as you point out) there are a lot of components to healthy bones.

    My test was fine and my mother gets tested regularly because her mother struggled but then again my mum exercises and is far healthier in general than her own mother was.

  • Reply Marya August 26, 2018 at 02:57

    I haven’t had a scan yet because menopause just started for me. So I’m guessing that the doctor is going to send me for one soon. With a recent ulcerative colitis diagnosis, I know this can be a concern because of malabsorption but I’ve been faithfully working out for awhile so hopefully things will be okay.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 27, 2018 at 07:13

      Hello Marya, I actually haven’t had a bone density test and should confirm that all is okay. I think because I run and exercise regularly I’m fine but best to be sure. Thanks for visiting and have a beautiful week. x

  • Reply Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski August 29, 2018 at 09:52

    I’m trying to add more strength training to my exercise routine. Otherwise, I test low for osteoporosis risk which is good. My nails could use a boost though.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 29, 2018 at 13:47

      My nails have been terrible lately, Rebecca and I’m not sure why. I’m currently taking a Hair, Skin & Nails supplement to see if that helps. Have a beautiful week and good for you adding the strength training. xx

  • Reply Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle August 29, 2018 at 17:08

    We will make a feature of this post Sue. It is an important message for us all. I have been trying to heal from a fractured thoracic vertebra two and a half months ago. I had to sleep in a lounge chair for over a month, because of the pain, I could not lie down. A bone density test showed no osteoporosis but it did show some mineral loss.
    My doctor said that weight bearing on the lower body like walking, stairs etc. does not help the upper body. He says, to use light weights so that the top from the shoulders down is weight bearing. I did not fall but I was lifting furniture 🙁
    Thanks for this information.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 30, 2018 at 06:55

      Hi Kathleen, thank you for the lovely surprise Feature but I’m so sorry to hear you have been in so much pain. You must feel exhausted. Hopefully you are on the mend and yes we need to make sure we strengthen our body from top to toe. Take care and don’t over do it until you are 100% xx

  • Reply Carol Taylor September 3, 2018 at 10:49

    Definitely, something we need to think about as we age..I haven’t had a bone density test…I do a lot of walking at least 2 miles a day and eat well…. Maybe I should think about doing some weights ..Great informative post 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 3, 2018 at 12:42

      Hi Carol, yes light weights will be a good addition to your walking. It looks like you certainly have your health and fitness front and centre. Thanks for visiting and have a beautiful week. 🙂

  • Reply Elise Ho September 27, 2018 at 10:23

    I have shared this post with several of my clients.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric October 1, 2018 at 06:52

      Thank you Elise, I appreciate you sharing this important message. We need to keep our bones healthy and strong especially as we age.:)

    I love hearing from you and your comments are important to me

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