Five Tips to Keep Your Bones Strong as you Age.

Strong Bones, Strong Life!

Older Caucasian woman flexing her muscles on beach
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Let's face it, as we get older, our body starts to naturally degenerate. A lot of things are happening under the surface that we aren't even aware of. That's why it's even more important to make sure we continue to exercise and eat healthy as we age.

Osteoporosis is one of the leading causes of disabilities in older folks. Keeping our bones strong is one of the best ways to stay healthy and prevent injury in our later years. It will also help us feel stronger in our day to day life. Knowing that our bodies are up for any task, because we take care of them, is inspiring in itself and allows us to live our life full out.

Look, I'm no spring chicken anymore, but I am stronger and fitter than I have ever been at the ripe age of 56. The reason why? Weight bearing exercise that keeps my bones strong, yoga for pliable muscles and flexibility, and eating a healthy, whole food diet loaded with high nutrients and minerals.

Tip One: Eat Your Dark Leafy Greens!


Dark Leafy Greens such as Kale, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, Bok Choy and Spinach are loaded with Calcium which helps to keep your bones strong, and pliable. Calcium is a crucial building block for bone tissue.  Click here for a delicious recipe for Kale + Apple Salad with Avocado Dressing. YUM!

There is a lot of controversy over milk being a high source of calcium, and since I don't drink milk and I have super strong bones, here are some other whole foods I love that are chock full of this awesome nutrient, and even more bio-available to the body because they are not processed; broccoli, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, flax seeds, oranges, almonds, sardines.

Eating a variety of these foods on a regular basis will help keep your bones strong and healthy.

Tip Two: The Sunshine Vitamin


Most people today are deficient in Vitamin D, which is necessary to help the body absorb and process calcium. It's also responsible for keeping energy levels high and brightening your mood.

It's difficult for the body to absorb Vitamin D through clothing, so unless you are sunbathing in your birthday suit every day for at least 20 minutes, there is a very good chance you are low in Vitamin D.

Be sure to get your levels checked every year to make sure you are in the range, according to your physician. I suggest taking a Vitamin D supplement daily starting from 600 iu's up to 2,000 iu's per day depending on where your levels are. Some people who are severely deficient might want to consider taking 5,000 - 10,000 ius for up to 4-6 months to get levels back to normal.

Tip Three: Cut Back on Caffeine


Coffee and caffeine are major culprits of depleting essential bone-building minerals in our body, not to mention that it can wreak havoc on our endocrine system which is responsible for healthy hormone levels, good energy and overall well being.

So if you are a big coffee or soda drinker, it's time to rethink it and go for herbal tea or high anti-oxidant green tea instead, which does contain small amounts of caffeine, but has many other benefits for the body.

I never said having healthy bones would be easy, but believe me, it's worth it.

Tip Four: Vitamin K + Potassium, The Smart Guys


Vitamin K and Potassium are two nutrients that, although they don't work together, are necessary for helping to maintain calcium in the body.

Vitamin K has been breaking more into the mainstream these days, and for good reason. It is responsible for helping the body to build proteins for healthy bones and also for reducing the amount of calcium excreted by the body. It is found in dark leafy greens, cruciferous veggies and some fruits, such as blueberries.

Potassium is not necessarily a bone-building mineral, but what it does is help nerves and muscles communicate. It can also help to neutralize acids that remove calcium from the body so we definitely want to be sure we are getting adequate amounts of this mineral. It is found in bananas, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes and coconut water. 

Tip Five: Get Plenty of Exercise


Studies show that weight-bearing exercise such as running, walking, push ups, holding planks, climbing stairs, jumping rope, and skiing are great ways to prevent bone loss.

Resistance training is also helpful as are certain yoga poses like chair and cobra. The bottom line is, that improved strength, flexibility and balance will help to prevent falls and injuries in later life. So get out there and move that body of yours for at least 20-30 minutes per day. No Excuses!

Keep on Moving!


The bottom line is that as we grow older, we must continue to move our bodies and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet of whole foods which includes plenty of fresh vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Variety is the key here to be sure you are getting all the nutrients you need for bone health. Here's to your strong bones and strong life!

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