Despite alarming statistics (during their lifetimes, 50% of women over 50 in the US will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture), there’s a lot we can do.
- Lift weights. In addition to your usual strength training regimen, try HiRIT (High Intensity Resistance and Impact Training) twice a week for 30 minutes, lifting heavier weights more slowly in a variety of moves.
- Eat Mediterranean. The general rules of this diet: high amounts of fruits, veggies, grains and olive oil; moderate fish and wine; low meat and dairy. In research, postmenopausal women who ate this way were less likely to have lower bone mass.
- Go probiotic. Increasing “good” bacteria in your gut reduces intestinal inflammation, which is linked to bone degrading activity.
- Say hello to yoga. It improves overall strength, coordination, balance and range of motion. And in a 2016 two-year study of women whose average age was 68 when they started, daily yoga was more effective at improving spinal bone density than medication.
- Step to it. In another study, adding 1,415 extra steps a day increased bone density, especially in the hip. And just a minute or two of daily weight-bearing activity triggers the release of chemicals that rebuild bone. Dance, run, jump rope or climb stairs to boost your heart rate as well as your bone density.
(Adapted from September O magazine article by Karen Asp)