Jessica Walter, a freelance health writer for Shield My Senior shared that eating healthily and being an appropriate weight from childhood onwards can have profound and long-lasting effects on your life. By making sensible lifestyle choices from a young age, you could be setting yourself up for great health during your senior years. There are many troublesome conditions that elderly people can experience, including the pain of a fractured hip. Yet this could be prevented by following some sensible advice.
Osteoporosis – While a broken bone may seem merely to be an annoyance, it can be much more serious, especially as you get older. For example, a fractured hip in old age is extremely painful and debilitating in itself and can also lead to complications such as blood clots, infection, heart attacks and stroke. According to the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, 50 million Americans either suffer from or are at risk of osteoporosis, a disease where low bone density makes bones weak and more likely to break. It is more common in women, with 50% suffering a fracture as a result of osteoporosis.
The causes of osteoporosis – There are a variety of factors which increase the risk of osteoporosis. Several of them unfortunately cannot be influenced by individuals. These include a family history of osteoporosis, thyroid problems, a personal history of broken bones or rheumatoid arthritis and lactose intolerance. Age is also a major factor (women over 65 and men over 70 are more at risk) as is the menopause; women may lose 30% of bone mass during the first five postmenopausal years if they do not use hormone replacement therapy.
However, there are several factors in play which can be influenced by long-term lifestyle choices. Smoking, high caffeine, alcohol intake and long-term low consumption of calcium and vitamin D can contribute to the chance of experiencing osteoporosis, as can a lack of weight-bearing exercise. Being overweight can put extra stress on bones and joints and also lead to people exercising less.
How to live well to avoid osteoporosis – A healthy diet is crucial to keeping bones strong. Being the right weight and consuming a varied diet is an excellent starting point. It is also vital to ensure that both adults and children get enough calcium and understand the importance of nutrition from an early age, so that they can carry this knowledge with them throughout life. Calcium-rich foods include milk, yoghurt and cheese as well as leafy green vegetables. Vitamin D is also crucial for bone health. Dietary sources include dairy produce and oily fish such as salmon and tuna, and another major source is sunlight.
Keeping active and exercising can also really help to prevent osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises help to build bones and keep them healthy. Examples of these include dancing, running, aerobics and tennis, all activities which both adults and children can enjoy.