A place for health & Happiness
A place for health & Happiness
How To Prevent the Impact of Aging Bones
1 in every 3 women, age 50 and up, will experience osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Osteoporosis is essentially a decrease in bone mass, or bone deterioration, which can increase the risk of injury and fractures in the population that it impacts. While osteoporosis is usually diagnosed in the 50+ population, it’s important to note that bone mass starts to decline around the age of 35.
Bone deterioration can be caused by genetics, hormones (the endocrine system), nutrition, lack of certain vitamins and minerals, physical activity and more!
So while osteoporosis may seem inevitable, it’s crucial that we take actions in our day to day lives that prevent our bones from getting weaker, and instead do things that will strengthen our bones and decrease the risk of injury.
Here is what you can do to improve your bone health:
Include strength training in your activity routine:
Exercise is amazing, at any age, for a multitude of reasons. As we get older it’s important to consciously increase and incorporate the amount of strength training we do in our weekly routine. Strength training allows us to break down the muscle fibers that are attached to the bone by tendons and ligaments, and ultimately improve our bone health as well as reduce the risk of falls.
The best type of exercises to do are unilateral (single-sided) exercises to work on strength while also working on balance and improving stability. Think about it, you usually have a stronger side, or a more dominant side, that you may compensate with making your “weaker side” more prone to accidents or injuries.
Great exercises to include in your training routine are farmer’s carries, single leg deadlifts or bulgarian split squats. Here is a video on how to do a farmer’s carry and here is a video on a unilateral lower body series.
Here is another video on core strength using an exercise ball, which you will want to check out too because strengthening your core is important when it comes to decreasing the risk of injury from osteoporosis.
Focus on nutrition:
It may not seem like the food we eat would have anything to do with our bones but the truth of the matter is that when we eat something every system in our body is being impacted because our bodies absorb the food we’re eating and feed it to our cells. This includes the cells that make up the bones in our bodies.
To improve bone health we want to be sure we’re eating foods that are high in micronutrients like calcium and vitamin-D and reduce toxins like alcohol, processed foods and sugars. There are a ton of foods that include both calcium and vitamin D. Some of the foods we can incorporate that include vitamin D and/or calcium are: dark leafy greens, rhubarb, lentils and beans, chia seeds, canned sardines, egg yolks, and more!
Add a calcium and vitamin D supplement to the mix:
If you’re unable to get all the calcium and vitamin-D you need from your diet you can also incorporate a vitamin-D and calcium supplement into your daily routine. This will help to increase the amount of nutrients your body is absorbing.
It’s best to take vitamin-D in the morning with a food that includes fat because it is a fat soluble vitamin. Anything above 1000 IU is generally a good guideline for someone who needs to increase the amount of vitamin-D levels in their system.
Calcium supplements should be taken with food to increase the absorption of the supplement but it’s important to understand your current levels of both calcium and vitamin-D (through bloodwork) before taking a supplement.
Remember when taking any supplement, they will be more effective when the other actions you’re taking in your life are aligned with healthy habits. If you are not eating quality nutrients and you’re not active or exercising then the vitamins and supplements you take will be less effective!
It’s almost normal to feel like there isn’t much we can do about preventing the impact of something like osteoporosis because it’s made out to be inevitable as we age since our bone mass will decrease, but there is actually a ton that we can do. Try adding more strength training and unilateral exercises as well as stability exercises to your routine, and you can also make changes to your diet and add additional supplementation if necessary.
PS: always remember to discuss with your doctor before starting any physical or nutrition program!How to Navigate the Diet Scene:
3 Insights to Consider Before Making Your Next Lifestyle Change
Almost everyone that I speak to has done some sort of diet or detox in their past.
Can you relate? Have you ever done a diet or detox in the past?
I know I have. My goals each time may vary but my results somehow always end up the same.
Take a moment here to think about the diets or detoxes you’ve done in the past.
Which one’s did you feel were the most effective for you?… and why do you feel that way? What made them feel effective? Was it your results. How easy or sustainable it felt.
Which diets or detoxes did you think were the least effective, frustrating, or pointless?
From the people that I have had the opportunity to work with similar responses always come up:
They feel successful with diets or lifestyle changes that encourage balance or that have provided massive results.
Those feel that a diet, detox or lifestyle change that is restrictive by nature is less effective and feels impossible to do and although it may have yielded results their results did not last long.
It’s tough to know which diet or approach to take with the abundance of information out there. That’s why it’s important to know yourself, understand your past, and be connected to your goals before just trying any diet.
What motivates or excites you? What holds you accountable? What helps you stay focused? What foods do you love? What foods don’t you love? What foods feel good when you eat them? What foods make you feel sluggish, bloated, or tired after you eat them? What does success look and feel like for you?
Understand your past:
What diets or detoxes have you tried in the past? What worked really well for you? What didn’t work well for you, and why? (remember these are subjective so what is your measure of success - see above). What has food meant to you in the past? How did you family treat food and what was your relationship around food with your family? Have you had any unhealthy patterns around food in the past and if so what were they?
Be connected to your goals:
What are your goals or intentions with a diet, detox or lifestyle change? Why are these your goals? And more specifically, why now? Why is now a good time for you to make these changes? Are you making these changes for you, or for someone else? What happens if you don’t achieve these goals right now? Do you have a back up plan, and if so what is it?
These components are so essential to success because if you don’t have these three insights you can end up creating a really unhealthy, vicious cycle, with food and dieting.
If we’re not conscious of these insights all of a sudden we’re doing new diets or detoxes because we hate how our bodies look, how we feel, or we went to the Doctor who gave us a reality check. We might start to create a negative relationship with food and dieting making it seem more like a punishment or something we do when we’re unhappy or scared. Or maybe we do it out of comparison because we see someone in our family or friend circle who had amazing results and we want to look and feel like they do.
...So we jump into a new diet or detox because we know someone it did work for or we heard it on the news and saw it in a magazine so it must be good right?!...
What happens when we tell ourselves we’re going to do something new and we’re going to stick to it this time and then when something comes up and we don’t stick to it the way we intended, we start to break trust within ourselves. We start to create doubt and overtime we stop believing in ourselves and our abilities to commit to our own health and wellness.
Understand these questions first before deciding what lifestyle changes you want to make. I know it can be tempting to go the quick-fix route but the temporary gains are never worth the long-term frustration and potential self-doubt.
Next month I will discuss how tracking macronutrients along with calories and activity, is a great way to implement balance into your lifestyle.
This is one of my favorite approaches to start someone new with. It’s a foundation and a building block to making long-term change and to build a better understanding and relationship with food
If you want some workout inspiration follow me on Instagram @alina_machina or you can find me in the Circle of Women Facebook Group where you can ask me any questions you may have when it comes to your physical health and wellness!