3 simple things you must do today for strong bones

Sometimes it is all too much thinking about everything we have to do to take care of our health.

Looking for an easy fix? Commit to making at least one positive change and sticking with it. Start with this healthy bones cheat sheet.

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Healthy bones are a “must-have” to live a fit and active lifestyle, particularly as women approach menopause and the years beyond.  

Did you know? Osteoporosis affects more than 1 in 5 women over the age of 65 compared with around 1 in 20 men.

The breakdown - women vrs men: It is true that women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. This is because of the rapid drop in the hormone oestrogen during menopause. Testosterone levels decline more gradually in men. Bone mass in men usually remains adequate until later in life as as result of this. However, by the age of 65, both men and women are thought to lose bone at the same rate.

Did you know? Currently two in three Australians over the age of 50 have osteoporosis or osteopenia and by 2022, 6.2 million Australians will be affected - an increase of 31% from 2012.

Emma Glassenbury, an Accredited Practising Dietitian for Dairy Australia says that taking steps to protect their bones needs to be a priority. “Osteoporosis can seriously affect a woman’s health and quality of life, especially through greater susceptibility to fractures. The good news is that bone thinning can be prevented by taking some easy and low cost steps.”

During menopause up to 10% of bone density can be lost, yet over 90% of Australian women over 50 are not getting the recommended 4 daily serves from the dairy food group needed to keep their bones strong.

Emma’s three top tips for looking after your bones are:

  1. Consume four serves from the dairy food group each day. Milk, cheese and yogurt are the richest sources of calcium in the Australian diet. A serve is 250ml milk, 200ml yogurt, 40g cheese or 120g ricotta cheese (or alternatives).
  2. Commit to doing some kind of weight-bearing exercise three or more times a week. Weight-bearing exercise is any activity where your body carries your weight, jogging, aerobics or tennis are great examples. Exercising regularly helps maintain bone strength plus improve muscle strength and agility which are increasingly important for our bone health as we get older.
  3. Get safe sun exposure for vitamin D which helps absorb calcium. It also helps control the levels of calcium in the bloodstream. The amount of sun exposure needed depends upon the season and where you live. To find out how much you should be having each day visit this website. 

Visit Healthy bones to register for the free Fit, Fab and 50 Challenge, for more information.

Did you know? 71% of women do not consider their bone health to be a top priority. 

Now for a fun option. Looking for a delicious way to increase your calcium intake? Try this enticing chai latte today.

Homemade Chai Latte
Serves 2
Ingredients
2 teaspoons black tea leaves
2 cardamom pods, bruised
1/4 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon honey

Method

  1. Combine all the spices to create a Chai Latte Mix. At this stage mix can be stored for up to a month in a sealed jar.
  2. Heat milk in a small saucepan or microwave until just below boiling point. Turn off heat, add spice mix and allow to infuse for 3-5 minutes. Stir in honey and strain out spices. Pour into tea cups and serve immediately.

Homemade Chai Latte

Looking for more great recipe ideas to increase your dairy intake? See these recipes below:

What are ways you keep your bones healthy? Join our conversation below…