Seniors, here’s why you really should exercise

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Tihs article is intended for educational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For such advice, consult your physician or other qualified healthcare professional. 

 

It’s never too late to start an exercise routine and enjoy becoming the fittest and healthiest you’ve ever been, not even if you’re in your 50s, 60s, or beyond. Everyone, regardless of age, can and will benefit from exercise, says Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, doctor of physical therapy.

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“Exercise is tied to so many health benefits not only for your body but also your mind as well,” she says. “If you want to stay sharp, independent, and healthy, exercise is a must, no matter if you are 50 or 90.”

 

Whether you’ve never exercised before or you’re rekindling an old habit, here are nine big benefits of exercise for seniors to keep you motivated for the long haul. Plus, our Home Gym Community shares how they’ve adjusted their fitness routines with age and their main motivations for working out as they get older.

Physical Health Benefits Of Exercise For Older Adults

Bone Health: Preventing Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a top health concern for older adults, especially for women, who are more susceptible to bone loss later in life. As you get older, your bones begin to deteriorate faster than your body can create new bone tissue. This results in porous bones, which are weaker and vulnerable to fractures.

 

Weight-bearing exercise and resistance training are the top ways to combat osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise is any type of exercise that involves working against gravity. Examples include walking, hiking, climbing stairs, and dancing. Resistance training includes bodyweight strength training as well as weight training with equipment, such as dumbbells.

 

RELATED: Best Treadmill for Walking

Muscle Health: Preventing Sarcopenia

In addition to strengthening your bones, exercise, especially resistance training, also strengthens your muscles and helps you build more muscle tissue. Like osteoporosis, sarcopenia is a degenerative condition that affects older adults, except sarcopenia is the loss of muscle, not bone. After middle age, adults tend to lose about 3% of muscle mass each year on average.

 

Exercise is the single most effective way to battle and reverse age-related muscle loss. Strength training is essential when it comes to muscle loss, as resistance training directly impacts factors that affect muscle growth. Specifically, lifting weights promotes the production of growth hormones and muscle protein synthesis (the process by which your body uses protein to make new muscle tissue).

Cardiovascular Health: Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, And More

Beyond bones and muscles, exercise also improves cardiovascular health and reduces your risk of heart disease.

  • Blood Pressure: Exercise has positive effects on blood pressure because it makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort, thus decreasing the amount of pressure on your blood vessels.  Most of the research on exercise and blood pressure looks at aerobic exercise, like walking and swimming, but some research also suggests that resistance training can lower blood pressure in the elderly, too. A program with combined cardio and strength training might be best at lowering blood pressure, according to some research.
  • Cholesterol: High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease, and managing your cholesterol is one way to maintain your health as you get older. There’s a linear relationship between the two, meaning that, up to a certain point, the more volume you do, the more your cholesterol levels improve.
  • Heart Disease: All types of exercise reduce your risk of heart disease (this is a “something is better than nothing” scenario), including heart attack, stroke, peripheral artery disease, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy, and more. Both strength training and cardio exercise have benefits, but again, science suggests that a combined program with both types of training has the best outcomes on heart disease risk factors.

Maintain Independence: Strength, Balance, And Coordination

An often-overlooked benefit of exercise is its ability to simply allow people to take care of themselves. Seniors often lose their independence when day-to-day obligations become too difficult. Physical activity helps you maintain your independence longer.

  • Balance and Coordination: The risk of falling and injuring yourself increases as you get older. This is due to many factors, but largely a loss of muscle mass (causing weakness) and a loss of balance and coordination. Keeping your muscles strong reduces your risk of falling, and performing specific exercises to help with balance will improve your ability to take care of yourself in old age.
  • Activities of Daily Living: Thanks to all of the above (stronger bones, bigger muscles, a healthier heart, and better balance) regular exercise is vital to maintaining your independence. Many seniors require full-time care because they can no longer perform activities of daily living on their own. Activities of daily living include basic day-to-day tasks, such as going to the bathroom, getting dressed, taking a shower, preparing food, cleaning, and generally moving about your home and community. Physical activity, or lack thereof, is directly related to seniors’ ability to perform activities of daily living.

Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise For Older Adults

The benefits don’t stop with physical improvements. Strength training, and exercise in general, is shown to have robust effects on the mental and emotional health of older adults.

Decreases Risk Of Depression

Seniors have an increased risk of developing depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And like the CDC says: Depression in older adults may be common, but it’s not normal. The risk of depression increases as you age largely because the risk of other chronic illnesses increases with age, and depression is more common in people who have other health conditions.

 

Physical activity is one of the best lifestyle-related antidotes to depression in people of all ages. More research is needed to understand how exercise might be prescribed as a defense against depression, but there’s no shortage of evidence that regular physical activity can elevate mood in the short term and also help regulate your mood over time.

Helps You Find A Community

An unfortunate fact of life is that with age, often comes loneliness. Seniors are vulnerable to loss, of family, friends, partners, and pets, and it can be a serious detriment to their mental health. Fitness is a good way for seniors to discover a new community and find like-minded individuals to spend time with. Whether you join an in-person gym or invest in a community-driven platform like the MIRROR, you’re sure to build new connections when you pick up a fitness habit.

Improves Memory

Memory loss is a major concern for the older population. Luckily, there are a number of ways to combat memory loss as you age and, you guessed it, exercise is one. Physical activity has been linked to improved memory, of both the spatial and verbal varieties. (Spatial memory is your ability to remember things like where you left your car keys or how to get to your mom’s house without needing directions. Verbal memory is your ability to remember what you read and hear.)

 

Exercise is also shown to improve working memory, which refers to the way your brain stores, analyzes, and changes information during cognitive tasks. An example of working memory is doing a math problem and “seeing” the numbers in your head, or in a common case here at Garage Gym Reviews, using instructions to assemble a piece of fitness equipment and then using that memory to assemble a similar piece of equipment without instructions.

Increases Cognitive Function

Not to get overly excited, but recent research showed that a single bout, specifically a 20-minute session on a stationary bike, can boost cognitive function in older adults. Obviously, there are a lot of caveats here (like the fact that the boost is temporary and the classic “more research is needed”).

 

But still. How cool! This finding suggests that the mental health benefits of exercise appear much more quickly than previously thought. On top of that, exercise is shown to reduce the risk of various types of cognitive decline, including dementia, later in life.

Improves Quality Of Life

All exercise improves quality of life through a marriage of all of the above benefits. Between stronger bones and muscles, a healthier cardiovascular system, better coordination and balance, better memory, and a healthy social life all put the “golden” in your golden years.

How The GGR Community Adjusts Their Home Fitness Training As They Age

How The GGR Community Adjusts Their Home Fitness Training As They Age

The team at Garage Gym Reviews wanted to understand our community members’ reasons for working out and how they’ve adjusted their workout routines as they get older. So naturally, we polled our Home Gym Community group on Facebook.

 

We asked two questions:

  • How have you adjusted your fitness routine as you get older?
  • What’s your main motivation for working out?

Here are the results:

  • 34% of people say they work harder to get bigger and stronger
  • 28% say they listen to their body and adapt accordingly
  • 9% say they lift lighter weights and do more reps, and that they aren’t worried about personal records
  • 6% say they focus less on strength training and more on aerobic exercise or other activities
  • 6% say maintenance is more important than PRs
  • 3% say they take more rest days
  • 3% say they incorporate more rest between sets
  • 3% say they lift more weights and do less cardio or plyometric exercise

Exercising As An Older Adult: Frequently Asked Questions

To help you better understand exercising as an older adult, and doing it as effectively and as safely as possible, the Garage Gym Reviews team consulted some experts in the industry. This Q&A with physical therapists, medical doctors, and fitness professionals who specialize in training older adults will help you get started on the right track.

How much exercise do older adults need?

For those new to exercise, three days per week is a great place to start, says Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, physical therapist, osteoarthritis expert, and CrossFit Level-1 Coach. “This will of course depend on the intensity of your workout and what type of workouts you’re doing,” she clarifies.

 

“For example, if you’re walking or doing another form of low-impact aerobic activity, you may not need as many rest days,” Dr. Kuhn says. “If you’re starting strength training with weights, you may need to take a day or two in between workouts to recover and allow your muscles to repair.”

 

You can gradually increase your workout frequency to five days per week, Dr. Kuhn says, so long as you don’t feel like you’re overtraining or, in the case of medical considerations or injuries, aggravating any existing conditions.

 

To get a little more specific, public health guidelines (from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) include 60 to 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week or 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, plus two to three strength training sessions.

I haven’t worked out in a long time. Where do I start?

Dr. Kuhn recommends spending at least a few sessions with a trusted physical therapist or movement specialist (like a personal trainer or corrective exercise specialist) who can appropriately evaluate important factors that will affect your exercise capabilities. A movement professional will evaluate things like range of motion in all of your joints, muscular imbalances, core control, flexibility, balance and coordination, and posture.

 

Too often, people injure themselves trying to start a new workout program without prior evaluation or guidance, Dr. Kuhn says. For most people, a good place to start is a combination of aerobic activity and light strength training. The most important thing upon starting is to not do too much, too soon, and disallow your body a chance to recoup.

Is it too late for me to exercise and still get all of the benefits?

It’s never too late for anyone to start exercising and reap the benefits. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how out of shape you think you are: Studies show that seniors experience positive changes in response to exercise, including cardio and strength training. Benefits include explicit health improvements, such as increased muscle mass, as well as qualitative benefits, such as improved quality of life.

Do I need any special equipment?

Nope! You can get a great strength training workout with just your body weight. Resistance exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups (and any modified version), and many more, can significantly improve your strength. For comfort, it’s worth it to invest in a good yoga mat to do exercises on.

 

It’s always helpful to have fitness equipment on hand, and you may find that using strength training equipment expedites your results. Before you start using dumbbells, resistance bands, or any other equipment, consult a personal trainer or study up on proper technique yourself.

Should I consult with my doctor beforehand?

If you have any existing medical conditions or injuries, yes, you should consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Consulting your doc is not a bad idea even if you don’t have any existing medical conditions.

Should I change my diet if I am going to strength train?

In general, unless you’re actively trying to lose weight, you will probably need to increase your calorie intake when you start an exercise program. For strength training specifically, increasing protein intake will help with muscle protein synthesis, the biological process that must take place for your muscles to grow. Everyone’s nutrient needs differ, so keep in mind that these are simply general recommendations.

What types of exercises are best for seniors to focus on?

Just like your diet won’t look the same as everyone else’s, neither will (nor should) your workout program. In general, however, most seniors will benefit from a mix of aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming, low-impact strength training with a focus on compound movements, and some sort of flexibility, mobility, and balance training such as yoga.

How often should seniors engage in strength training?

Dr. Tim Shuckers, physical therapist, says older adults should have at least two strength training workouts per week. Not every session has to be a weight training session, he says: Strength training for seniors can also include yoga, Pilates, bodyweight training, and working with resistance bands.

The Main Takeaway

The bottom line is that it’s never too late to start strength training (or exercising in general). Exercise, and strength training in particular, poses a number of benefits for older adults: increased muscle mass, increased bone density, improved heart health, improved balance and coordination, reduced risk of chronic disease, and so much more. All of these benefits come together to provide the ultimate benefit older adults are looking for: The ability to maintain their independence and enjoy life free from pain and illness in older age.

 

This article originally appeared on GarageGymReviews.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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Seniors: Your complete guide to osteoporosis

 

Osteoporosis, or porous bones, is a disease that causes bones to become weak and break easily. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, osteoporosis affects mostly older women, but prevention should start when you are younger.

No matter your age, you can take steps to build bone mass and prevent bone loss. Broken bones from osteoporosis cause serious health problems and disability in older women. Here are some things about osteoporosis that you should know:

 

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Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. People with osteoporosis have bones that are weak and break easily.

Osteoporosis is called a “silent” disease. You may have bone loss for many years without any symptoms until you break a bone. A broken bone can cause severe pain and disability. It can make it harder to do daily tasks on your own, such as walking.

 

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Bone loss is the amount of minerals, such as calcium, that your body absorbs (takes) from your bones.

Bone loss can happen for several reasons. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • You do not get enough calcium from food. Your body uses calcium to build healthy bones and teeth and stores calcium in your bones. Your body also uses calcium to send messages through your nervous system, help your muscles contract, and regulate your heart’s rhythm. But your body does not make calcium. You have to get all the calcium your body needs from the foods you eat and drink (or from supplements). If you don’t get enough calcium each day, your body will take the calcium it needs from your bones.
  • You are past menopause. As you get older, your bones don’t make new bone fast enough to keep up with your body’s needs. The calcium taken from your bones causes you to lose bone density. Bone loss also speeds up after menopause and can lead to weak, brittle bones.

 

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Osteoporosis affects more women than men. Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, more than 8 million (or 80%) are women.

Women are more likely to get osteoporosis because:

  • Women usually have smaller, thinner, less dense bones than men.
  • Women often live longer than men. Bone loss happens naturally as we age.
  • Women also lose more bone mass after menopause with very low levels of the hormone estrogen. Higher estrogen levels before menopause helps protect bone density.

Osteoporosis is most common in older women. In the United States, osteoporosis affects one in four women 65 or older. But younger women can get osteoporosis. And girls and women of all ages need to take steps to protect their bones.

 

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Yes. Your risk for osteoporosis is higher if you:

  • Are past menopause. After menopause, your ovaries make very little of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen helps protect bone density. Some women lose up to 25% of bone mass in the first 10 years after menopause.
  • Have a small, thin body (weigh less than 127 pounds)
  • Have a family history of osteoporosis
  • Are Mexican-American or white. One in four Mexican-American women and about one in six white women over 50 years old have osteoporosis.
    Asian-American women also have a higher risk for osteoporosis because they are usually smaller and thinner than other women and therefore may have less bone density.
  • Do not get enough calcium and vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D work together to build and maintain strong bones.
  • Do not get enough physical activity. Women of all ages need to get regular weight-bearing physical activity, such as walking, dancing, or playing tennis, to help build and maintain bone density.
  • Have not gotten your menstrual period for three months in a row (called amenorrhea). If you have amenorrhea and you are not pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking a medicine that stops your periods, talk to your doctor or nurse. Not getting your period means your ovaries may have stopped making estrogen.
  • Have an eating disorder. Eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, can weaken your bones. Anorexia can also lead to amenorrhea.
  • Smoke. Women who smoke have lower bone density and often go through menopause earlier than nonsmokers. Studies also suggest that smoking raises your risk for broken bones, and this risk goes up the longer you smoke and the more cigarettes you smoke.
  • Have a health problem that raises your risk of getting osteoporosis. These include diabetes, premature ovarian failure,celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease, and depression.
  • Take certain medicines to treat long-term health problems, such as arthritis, asthma, lupus, or thyroid disease.
  • Drink too much alcohol. For women, experts recommend no more than one alcoholic drink a day if you choose to drink alcohol. Long-term, heavy drinking can cause many health problems, including bone loss, heart disease, and stroke.

 

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You may not have any symptoms of osteoporosis until you break (fracture) a bone. A fracture can happen in any bone of the body. But fractures are most common in the hip, wrist, and spine (vertebrae). Vertebrae support your body, helping you to stand and sit up. See the picture.

Osteoporosis in the vertebrae can cause serious problems for women. A fracture in this area can happen during day-to-day activities like climbing stairs, lifting objects, or bending forward when you have osteoporosis.

Fractures in the vertebrae can cause it to collapse and bend forward. If this happens, you may get any or all of these symptoms:

  • Sloping shoulders
  • Curve in the back
  • Height loss
  • Back pain
  • Hunched posture

 

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Osteoporosis is caused by bone loss. Most often, the reason for bone loss is very low levels of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen plays an important role in building and maintaining your bones.

The most common cause of low estrogen levels is menopause. After menopause, your ovaries make very little estrogen.

Also, your risk for developing osteoporosis is higher if you did not develop strong bones when you were young. Girls develop 90% of bone mass by age 18. If an eating disorder, poor eating, lack of physical activity, or another health problem prevents you from building bone mass early in life, you will have less bone mass to draw on later in life.

 

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Your doctor will do a bone density test to see how strong or weak your bones are. A common test is a central dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). A DXA is a special type of x-ray of your bones. This test uses a very low amount of radiation.

Your doctor may also use other screening tools to predict your risk of having low bone density or breaking a bone.

 

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Your doctor may suggest a bone density test for osteoporosis if:

  • You are 65 or older
  • You are younger than 65 and have risk factors for osteoporosis. Bone density testing is recommended for older women whose risk of breaking a bone is the same or greater than that of a 65‑year‑old white woman with no risk factors other than age. Ask your doctor or nurse whether you need a bone density test before age 65.

 

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Screening for osteoporosis is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare Part B. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screenings at no cost to you.

  • If you have insurance, check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan.
  • If you have Medicare, find out about Medicare coverage for bone density tests.
  • If you have Medicaid, the benefits covered are different in each state, but certain benefits must be covered. Check with your state’s Medicaid program to find out what’s covered.
  • If you don’t have insurance, you may be able to get a no-cost or low-cost bone density test. To learn more, find a health center near you by entering your ZIP code in our health clinic finder on the top left side (desktop view) or bottom (mobile view) of this page. To see whether you are eligible for low-cost or no-cost health insurance, visit HealthCare.gov.

 

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If you have osteoporosis, your doctor may prescribe medicine to prevent more bone loss or build new bone mass. The most common types of medicine to prevent or treat osteoporosis include:

  • Bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates help treat bone loss. They may also help build bone mass.
  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). SERMs may help slow the rate of bone loss after menopause.
  • Denosumab. This injectable drug may help reduce bone loss and improve bone strength if you are past menopause and at higher risk for broken bones from osteoporosis.
  • Calcitonin. Calcitonin is a hormone made by your thyroid gland that helps regulate calcium levels in your body and build bone mass. Taking calcitonin can help slow the rate of bone loss.
  • Menopausal hormone therapy. Often used to treat menopausal symptoms, menopausal hormone therapy may also help prevent bone loss. The Food and Drug Administration recommends taking menopausal hormone therapy at the lowest dose that works for your menopause symptoms for the shortest time needed.
  • Parathyroid hormone or teriparatide. Teriparatide is an injectable form of human parathyroid hormone. It helps the body build up new bone faster than the old bone is broken down.

Your doctor may also suggest getting more calcium, vitamin D, and physical activity.

All medicines have risks. For example, menopausal hormone therapy may raise your risk of a blood clot, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, or gallbladder disease. Talk to your doctor or nurse about the benefits and risks of all medicines.

 

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One of the best ways to prevent weak bones is to work on building strong ones. Building strong bones during childhood and the teen years is important to help prevent osteoporosis later.

As you get older, your bones don’t make new bone fast enough to keep up with the bone loss. And after menopause, bone loss happens even more quickly. But you can take steps to slow the natural bone loss with aging and to prevent your bones from becoming weak and brittle.

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D each day.
  • Get active. Choose weight-bearing physical activities like running or dancing to build and strengthen your bones.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking raises your risk for broken bones.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation (for women, this is one drink a day at most). Too much alcohol can harm your bones. Also, too much at one time or mixed with certain medicines can affect your balance and lead to falls.
  • Talk to your doctor about whether you need medicine to prevent bone loss.

 

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Calcium is found in your bones and teeth. It helps build bones and keep them healthy. Your body also uses calcium to help your blood clot and your muscles contract. If you don’t get enough calcium each day from the foods you eat, your body will take the calcium it needs from your bones, making your bones weak.

You can get calcium through food or calcium supplements.

 

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How much calcium you need depends on your age:

  • 9–18 years: 1,300 mg per day
  • 19–50 years: 1,000 mg per day
  • 51 and older: 1,200 mg per day

Pregnant or nursing women need the same amount of calcium as other women of the same age.

You can get the calcium you need each day from food and/or calcium supplements.

 

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Calcium is found naturally in some foods:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and mustard greens

Calcium is sometimes added to certain foods, such as:

  • Breakfast cereals (some have up to 100% of the recommended daily value — or 1,000 milligrams — of calcium in each ¾ cup serving)
  • Orange juice
  • Tofu
  • Soymilk
  • Breads and pastas

 

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When buying food with calcium, look at the Nutrition Facts label to see how much calcium is in the food. Food labels show the amount of calcium as a percentage of the Daily Value (written as %DV). Foods providing 20%DV or more are high sources of calcium, but foods with lower percentages (5% or more) are still good sources of calcium.

See the example of calcium on a food label here. Learn how to read food labels on a package.

 

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If you have problems eating foods with dairy or don’t like to eat them, try the following tips to make sure you get enough calcium:

  • Try lactose-reduced or lactose-free products, such as milk or yogurt.
  • Take a lactose supplement (in pill or liquid form) before eating dairy foods to help you digest them.
  • Choose other food sources of calcium. Other good sources of calcium include tofu or orange juice with calcium added, and vegetables such as bok choy, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, and broccoli.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse if you need to take calcium supplements.

 

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The answer depends on how much calcium you need each day and how much calcium you get from the foods you eat.

It’s best to get the calcium your body needs from food. But if you don’t get enough calcium from the foods you eat, you may want to consider taking a calcium supplement.

You can get calcium supplements at the grocery store or drug store. Talk with your doctor or nurse before taking calcium supplements to see which kind is best for you and how much you need to take.

 

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Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium from the food you eat. Just eating foods with calcium is not enough. You also need to get enough vitamin D to help your body use the calcium it gets.

Your skin makes vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight. In general, you need 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight to the hands, arms, and face, two to three times a week to make enough vitamin D. The amount of time depends on how sensitive your skin is to light. It also depends on your use of sunscreen, your skin color, the season, the latitude (how far north or south) where you live, and the amount of pollution in the air.

You can also get vitamin D from foods such as milk or from vitamin supplements. The vitamin D you get from food or supplements is measured in international units (IU).

 

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How much vitamin D you need each day depends on your age:

  • Women up to age 70: 600 international units (IU)
  • Women 71 and older: 800 IU each day

Pregnant and breastfeeding women need the same amount of vitamin D (600 IU) as other women of the same age.

 

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Although it’s hard to get enough vitamin D through food alone, foods with vitamin D include:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna fish
  • Egg yolks

Vitamin D is often added to certain foods, including:

  • Breakfast cereals
  • Milk
  • Orange juice

 

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Regular physical activity of any type can help slow bone loss, improve muscle strength, and help your balance. But weight-bearing physical activity is especially important to build bone and help prevent bone loss. Weight-bearing physical activity is any activity in which your body works against gravity.

Weight-bearing activities you can try include:

  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Lifting weights
  • Tennis
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Running
  • Walking

Learn more about physical activity and how much you need in our Fitness and Nutrition section.

 

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Osteoporosis that is not treated can lead to serious bone breaks (fractures), especially in the hip and spine. One in three women is likely to have a fracture caused by osteoporosis in her lifetime.

  • Hip fractures can cause serious pain and disability and require surgery.
  • Spinal fractures can cause you to lose height or get a stooped back. They often cause serious pain and require surgery.

Fractures can happen after minor falls, stumbles, or bumps into furniture. Falls are the leading cause of injuries in older adults over age 65.

 

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Maybe. Your unborn baby needs calcium to help his or her bones grow. While in the womb, babies get calcium from what you eat (or the supplements you take). If you don’t get enough calcium from food or supplements, your baby will use the calcium in your bones.

You can lose some bone density during pregnancy, but any bone mass lost is usually restored after childbirth (or after breastfeeding). Also, during pregnancy, you absorb calcium from food and supplements (like prenatal vitamins) better than women who are not pregnant. Your body also makes more of the hormone estrogen, which protects bone.

 

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Yes, women often lose some bone density during breastfeeding. But this loss is temporary. Several studies have shown that when women lose bone mass during breastfeeding, they recover full bone density within six months after breastfeeding stops.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

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