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When did you last think about your bones?

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You only need to think about bone health when you’re older, right?

Whether your 17 or 70, bone health is something we should be aware of throughout our lives.

 

Between 10-20 years old: Developing bone mass and building the foundation for strong bones.

Puberty is a critical time for developing bone mass and building up calcium in the body. Girls ages 10-20 need at least 1,300 mg of calcium daily, and they should take a daily vitamin D supplement to boost calcium absorption. 

 

20-30 years old: Reaching peak strength and density

Calcium and exercise are the key. Plan to get 1000mg of calcium every day and consider a Vitamin D supplement as its hard to get the daily recommended amount. Do 30 min of weight bearing exercise four or more days every week. It’s also a great idea to add a muscle strengthening exercise twice a week.

Pregnant women ages 20-30 should take the recommended 1300 mg of calcium daily. For pregnant women of any age, getting enough calcium and vitamin D is especially important. A growing baby in the womb can divert calcium from the mother’s bones to build its own skeleton. 

 

30-50 years old: Minimising bone loss

After reaching peak bone mass, we all begin to gradually lose bone. At this stage, getting enough exercise, calcium (1,000 mg) and vitamin D (1,000 IU) every day are musts to minimize bone loss. Exercise also helps maintain muscle mass, which preserves and strengthens bones and helps prevent falls.

 

50+

If you’re 50 or older, chances are you’re entering or have gone through menopause. At this stage you should increase your calcium intake to 1,200 mg. With menopause, estrogen levels drop dramatically, triggering rapid bone loss. This puts women at more risk of a fracture. And this explains why women are much more likely than men to develop osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones. 

 

70+

Preventing falls is especially important at this age. Taking 1300 mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D each day helps maintain strong bones and prevents fractures. 

 

Where do we get calcium?

As we’ve seen, calcium is really important for bone health. Dairy products are high in calcium, and so are foods like almonds, salmon, and dark leafy greens – yep, Kale is everything it’s cracked up to be!

  - Dairy                - Almonds

 - Salmon              - Dark leafy greens

 

What sort of exercise helps?                       

There’s no escaping exercise if we want to stay healthy. Weight-bearing exercise is really good to help maintain and improve our bones.

   - Brisk walking               - Jogging

   - Basketball                    - Netball

   - Tennis                          - Weights

 

And as far as Calcium and vitamin D supplements go, we have a few to suit every age group, so come in and have a chat to the team at your local Unichem or Life Pharmacy.

 

Shop bone health essentials here.