Boost your bone health in your 40’s

As you enter your 40s you will start to very gradually lose bone density. This is especially relevant for women after the age of 45, when bone loss begins to increase to 1‐2% per year.1 Making some positive changes to your diet and lifestyle now however, can help to maintain your bone health for the future, including:

  • Eat calcium‐rich foods – Sufficient dietary calcium is required to maintain bone mass. Women and men in their 40’s should be aiming for 1000mg of calcium daily, which can be achieved by consuming two serves of dairy products or calcium‐fortified milk substitutes, and half a cup of canned salmon containing soft edible bones which are rich in calcium.2 Other calcium‐rich foods include green leafy vegetables, almonds, brazil nuts and unhulled tahini.2 You could also consider a calcium supplement to meet your daily calcium needs.
  • Consider a vitamin D supplement ‐ Most people in Australia can get enough vitamin D through sensible sunlight exposure. There are some Australians however that may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency. These include people who avoid the sun for cosmetic or health purposes, have naturally very dark skin, or cover up for cultural or religious reasons.3
  • Add weight training to your exercise routine – Along with regular weight‐bearing activity such as brisk walking, impact aerobics, netball and tennis, it is important to include strength training in your routine to maintain strong and healthy bones and muscles through your 40’s. These can be done with free weights such as dumbbells, or with exercise machines such as the leg press, seated rower or pull‐down.4
  • Quit smoking – Smokers are known to have lower bone density than non‐smokers.5
  • Moderate caffeine and alcohol intake – To boost bone health, it is important to consume no more than two to three cups of cola, tea and coffee and no more than two standard alcoholic beverages, a day.5
References
  1. Osteoporosis Australia, Exercise and its effects, http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/
  2. Better Health Channel, Calcium, April 2013, http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/
  3. Better Health Channel, Vitamin D, April 2012, http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/
  4. Osteoporosis Australia, Exercise and fracture prevention: A guide for consumers, http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/images/
  5. Better Health Channel, Osteoporosis, July 2013,

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