Boost your bone health in your 30’s

Bones will keep growing until around the age of 30, when they will have reached their maximum strength and density.1 Then, from about the age of 40, we start to gradually lose bone mass (density). This makes our 30’s an important decade to ensure we preserve our bone mass; maintaining bone mass now will help guard against osteoporosis as we grow older. The nutritional factors and lifestyle behaviours shown below can influence our bone health and are especially important for 30‐something men and women to follow:

  • Ensure adequate calcium intake – Maintaining an adequate intake of calcium is a vital step for building and maintaining strong healthy bones. Men and women in their thirties require 1000mg of calcium per day, so include calcium rich foods in your daily diet such as milk and milk products, tofu (some brands) and calcium‐enriched soy milk, almonds, brazil nuts, unhulled tahini, canned salmon and sardines containing soft edible bones, and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy and spinach.2
  • Keep caffeine in check – Excess caffeine can affect the amount of calcium that our body absorbs. It is recommended to drink no more than two to three cups of coffee, tea or cola per day.3
  • Moderate alcohol intake – Excess alcohol intake can increase the risk of osteoporosis. It is recommended to drink no more than two standard drinks a day and have at least two alcohol‐free days a week to support bone health.3
  • Consider a vitamin D supplement – It is estimated that 1 in 3 adults over the age of 25 are deficient in vitamin D.4 Although adequate amounts can be achieved through sensible sunlight exposure, some people may benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement to meet their needs. This includes those who avoid the sun for cosmetic or health reasons, cover up for cultural or religious purposes or have occupations where sun exposure is limited such as office or shift workers.5
  • Exercise properly – To support bone health in your 30’s, it is important to include a variety of weight‐bearing activities and progressive resistance training for at least 30 minutes 3‐5 times a week.6 Click here for exercises to build bone strength in your 30s.
Referrences
  1. NIH, Osteoporosis: Peak bone mass in women, July 2012, http://www.niams.nih.gov/
  2. Better Health Channel, Calcium, April 2013, http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/
  3. Better Health Channel, Osteoporosis, July 2013, http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/
  4. Daly, R. M., C. Gagnon, et al. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its determinants in Australian adults aged 25 years and older: A national, population‐based study. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2011. doi: 10.1111/j.1365‐2265.2011.04320.x
  5. Better Health Channel, Vitamin D, April 2012, http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/
  6. Osteoporosis Australia, Recommended exercises for different stages of life, URL access: http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/images/

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