It’s a common misconception that bone loss and susceptibility to fractures are a natural part of aging.  Many people assume that when they reach a certain age, low bone mass and tissue loss are inevitable.  But, that isn’t necessarily the case.  There are a number of precautions you can take to slow or reverse bone and tissue loss, as well as prevent bone fractures.

Here are the key factors that impact bone health…

Nutrition plays a huge role in bone health.  The right diet can impact how strong bones are as we age.  The most important food group for maintaining healthy bones is protein—eggs, fish, poultry, meat, beans, etc.  It just so happens that most seniors don’t get enough protein in their daily diet.  Dairy products and leafy greens are important as well.  Some of the nutrients and food groups associated with bone health can also be taken as supplements if diet alone doesn’t provide required daily intake.  Talk with your doctor about a well-balanced diet and find out how to get these nutrients into your daily routine.

Vitamins and supplements are also important components.  Calcium and vitamin D are two essential nutrients for keeping bones strong and healthy.  The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium daily.  Exact recommendations vary based on age and gender.  Both men and women age 50 and above require 800-1,000 IU daily of vitamin D.  Vitamin C is also known to maintain bone mass and minimize the risk of hip fractures.

Regular exercise is directly linked to preserving bone mass.  This includes not only physical activity, but strength and weight-bearing exercises as well.  A person’s age and health lays the foundation for what’s a suitable type and amount of daily exercise.  Fortunately, regular exercise doesn’t have to take place in a gym.  Activities such as walking, gardening and dancing are all ways to stay active.   Of course, it’s always recommended to talk with your doctor before starting any new activity or exercise routine.

RELATED: Stay active even during the winter using our activity tips

Home safety is an underrated element to bone health.  According to the CDC, each year one in three adults 65 and older falls.  Doctors and organizations involved in bone health have the motto “home safety is bone safety”.   Using common sense precautions in the home is an easy way to help prevent falls and injuries.  Things like establishing clear pathways, eliminating hazards–like throw rugs and cords, using non-slip bathroom products and enhanced lighting are all ways to ensure home safety.

For more information on how diet, exercise and home safety impact bone health, contact AT Home Care today at 804-359-3400!

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