This post is part of the Gorgeous 50’s series inspired by a book given to me by one of my sisters on my 50th birthday – ‘Grown up and Gorgeous in your 50’s’ by Pamela Robson. I will be sharing some of Pamela’s words and my own thoughts along the way. To see all posts published as part of this series, go here.
In your 50s, declining oestrogen levels will speed up the rate at which your bones lose calcium, putting you at risk of osteoporosis. Our bones are alive and they grow and change as we do; their health depends on what we eat and how active we are. Every day, your body rebuilds the cells in your bones. This cycle helps repair the tiny fractures and injuries the body suffers daily. The vertebrae in the spine, the hip bones and wrists are the areas that osteoporosis affects the most.
Pamela goes on to list 4 things you can do:
- Take a calcium supplement: 500 milligrams in the morning; 500 milligrams at night, taken with 600 milligrams magnesium.
- Eat calcium-rich foods: natural yoghurt, cheese, milk, broccoli and tofu.
- Cut down on alcohol: too much reduces the absorption of vitamin D.
- Do weight-bearing exercise: running, brisk walking, dancing, tennis or netball are good options. Each time your foot hits the ground you apply stress to your bones; the higher the impact, the greater the benefit to your bones. Note that non-gravity workouts such as swimming and bike riding are good for heart health but don’t build bones.
and A note on calcium:
The recommended dietary intake of calcium for women is 1000 to 1300 milligrams every day. Most of us are unlikely to achieve this through our diet alone, so supplements can be a useful way of making up the deficit. Taking calcium supplements can slow bone loss, although they do not completely stop it. Find out more about calcium from your GP – and if you haven’t already had one, get a bone density scan.
My first thoughts are with my parents generation and that keeping our bones as strong as possible is a very important and serious matter. I recently lost my Dad. It all started with a fall and a broken hip. My Mum has fallen and broken two wrists over recent years. One Auntie fell and had a very serious break/shatter in her femur and is still having ongoing problems due to it undoing the good from a previous hip replacement. Another Auntie fell and broke her hip and whilst recovering from that, fell again and has broken her femur (just above the knee). Having brittle bones is not fun at all!
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become fragile, leading to a higher risk of fractures (or breaks) than in normal bone. Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, more quickly than the body can replace them, leading to a loss of bone thickness (bone mass or density). As a result bones become more porous and less dense so that even a minor bump or fall can result in a fracture.
What can I do to prevent osteoporosis?
You can take action to maintain and improve your bone health at every stage of life. Adequate calcium intake, proper vitamin D levels (to help absorb calcium) and specific exercises are all important for healthy bones. For people with low bone density or osteoporosis these 3 factors are very important.
You can read more at Osteoporosis Australia. Another fabulous resource is Know Your Bones where you can self assess your bone health NOW!
All the information you need to know what to do to look after your bones can be found at the links above. Do yourself a favour and get yourself familiar with the steps you should be taking. No bones about it – it’s important!
Ciao for now,
Link up here at WOTM or with another of us in the Lovin’ Life Linky team:
Leanne ofDeep Fried Fruit
Lyndall ofSeize the Day Project
Kathy of 50 Shades of Age
Deborah of Debbish
and Jo of And Anyways
It doesn’t matter where you link up as it will magically appear on all six blogs.
Thanks, Min, for an informative post. Weight-bearing exercises and a balanced diet are so important for our bones and overall health.
No problem – thanks Natalie. x
A well-timed post. I don’t eat nearly enough calcium rich foods. Other than natural unsweetened yoghurt (which I have most days) I tend to avoid dairy – but can inhale a cheese platter if it’s in front of me! I’m notoriously bad at taking anything regularly – how I managed the pill for all those years doesn’t bear thinking about – but know that these days I need to come up with some sort of system & some sort of regular regime.
I need to eat more calcium rich foods too. Very pleased to have increased my pilates which is strength/weight bearing. Your regular walking is a good thing Jo!!
Such a great resource, Min, well done.
Thanks Melissa! 🙂 x
Informative read, Min. Thanks for all the links. I really appreciate how you’ve drawn attention to measures such as exercise as well as supplements that are key in maintaining bone health.
Thanks SSG. It can be boring to talk about this stuff but it kinda needs to be shoved in our face now and then as a reminder of its importance. xo
So informative Min and yes Osteoporosis is something we all need to be aware of as we age. I take supplements and also do strength training exercises to keep my bones strong.
Thanks Sue! Good for you – you do a great job with your exercise and the supplements are a good move also. x
I had to have a bone density test after being diagnosed as coeliac over a decade ago and mine were fine. I probably should get checked again though (post weight loss surgery) I’ve had blood tests to check calcium levels (etc) in my blood and take a calcium and Vitamin D supplement (and multivitamin) each day.
I’m happy I’ve gone back to pilates as well as it involves some strength work that I’m enjoying.
I should have a bone density test done too. I’ve never had one done. It’s on my ‘to do’ list (which is getting very long)! I’m doing regular reformer pilates too and love it! It’s great for the bones and the whole body really. I’ve discovered muscles I never even knew I had! 🙂
This is SO important. In fact, I just posted about Vitamin D on Instagram, and I think that helps me so much!!!
Thanks Jodie. I think a lot of people would not realise the importance of Vitamin D to bone health! xo
The whole weight bearing exercise thing has been popping up a lot lately – I’m finally getting my act together exercise-wise but not doing weight bearing and I think that might be my goal for a bit further down the track. It scares me to think about broken femurs and other big bones – even a broken wrist would be a nightmare. These are the “joys” that we have to plan against aren’t they?
Broken bones, fractures, shattered bones etc … it all scares me too Leanne – especially after seeing the suffering of my own relatives with this very thing. Regular walking and pilates has me covered for weight bearing exercise. Fortunately, I really enjoy both of these activities! 🙂 x
Hi Min – when I read that you include walking in your weight bearing list of exercises I felt a lot better – I walk every day so maybe I won’t be falling apart as quickly as I thought!
Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx
Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
Walking every day is a wonderful thing to do for your body, bones and your mind! Yay for you Leanne! 🙂 xo
My aunt has this so I’m very conscious of it!
Good that you’re conscious of it Amy!
This is a big issue for me as I’m watching my octogenarian Mum go through Osteoporosis, her stature shortening, stooping posture and also a fall that resulted in a broken hip. My mum has never really exercised, nor taken calcium supplements. So I’m extremely cautious about upping my calcium intake and doing some weight bearing exercises. I think we all need to be reminded of this.
Yes I think we all need to be reminded of it too. A little bit of effort now might prevent a whole lot of drama later!
Excellent reminder – I have caltrate in my cupboard but I’m hopeless at remembering to take it. Note to self: get better at remembering.
I know what you mean Christine. So many supplements to consider taking and lots to remember to take!
Scary to think what happens as we get older. Off to buy some calcium.
Good move Emma!
Your post is a great reminder for all of us “mature” ladies Min :). My Mum had osteoporosis, so I’m really conscious of my calcium intake 🙂 x #TeamLovinLife
It’s a nasty thing that osteoporosis, isn’t it Lyndall?! x
I have an appointment to get some of my bones checked tomorrow. My neck. I am thinking I may be lacking in the calcium department. Great (and timely) post Min #teamlovinlife
Hope all went well with your appointment Leanne! x
Great post Min.
I am loving cycling but know that i must keep up with my brisk walking and jogging for bone health. I don’t love running as much as I once did. My bones ache . I am more at risk due to anti breast cancer anti hormone medication. I’m due to change and it’s worse but less risk of clots.
Thanks Trish! I’m doing pilates and walking (but not enough). I tried to be a runner but it didn’t work for me. Wishing you a happy and healthy year ahead! x
Hi, Min – I’m stopping by from Sue and Leanne’s Midlife Share the Love Party 18. Thank you for this important reminder. It is easy for me to skip my calcium supplements and to avoid weight bearing exercise. I am not adding them back into my routine!
Hi Donna – you are or you’re not adding them back into your routine? I take a multi-vitamin every day which has calcium in it but it may not be enough so I’m gonna have to check that. I think I’ve got my weight bearing exercise covered with my regular pilates and walking. Hope so!
Ohh, a timely post, as I creak and ache and generally feel my body every day now I’ve turned 60. I wrote some posts a couple of years ago about the importance of dairy in our diets as we hit menopause and beyond, and not being allergic to them I do believe that eating dairy in moderation is really good for our bones. Thanks for the reminder. Off to have a yoghurt with my lunch!
There’s so many things to consider for our health as we get older isn’t there? At least eating yoghurt is a yummy, pleasant thing! 🙂 xo
Min, osteoporosis is something we all want to avoid! And I’m very small-boned, making me a prime candidate. In recent months I’ve been learning a lot about Vitamin K2 (MK-7). It’s role in all this is to pull calcium out of the places it doesn’t belong, like arteries and soft tissues, and lay it down in the places it does belong, like bones and teeth.
Jean, thanks for sharing about the Vitamin K2. I’ll have to investigate further!
Thanks for this post it reminded me to schedule my dexa scan. I do have osteoporosis and have to stay on top of my calcium intake.
Good luck with your Dexa scan Victoria! x
I’m going to share this on SM for our MidLife and Beyond Blog Share #MLSTL. We need to get all the information to keep us healthy and happy through the years. Thanks!
Thank you Mary Lou! x
VERY useful information! Pinning for future reference!
So glad you think so. Thanks Molly!