As we age, our bodies begin to change in many ways. Some of the changes can start to occur as early as our 20s. Unless we remain aware of what our body needs to remain healthy, we can begin to lose both muscle and bone tissue before we hit the age of 40. The key to maintaining strong bones is to live an active, healthy lifestyle. It isn’t as difficult as it sounds, especially if we start by making small changes. We all go through phases where we let ourselves slide physically, mentally, and emotionally. Before we know it, we’ve developed bad habits and wonder who that person is in the mirror. When you choose to regain your health, the small changes you start with will eventually turn into healthy habits that will become second nature.
We have to accept that our bodies will change as we age, no matter how much we try to prevent it. Some of these changes can include:
While these changes are uncomfortable, you don’t have to accept them without a fight. Making small changes and developing healthy habits will help your body adapt to these new norms and may actually help you reverse a few of them.
Change isn’t a bad thing if you work to turn the negatives into positives. Every negative change that occurs within your body can be dealt with accordingly, allowing your body to remain healthy, vibrant, and strong. Understanding the changes that are occurring within your body will help you to make the adjustments you need to halt them or at least slow them down. Talk to your doctor and learn as much about your body as possible. What changes can you make now? Start small and make the transitions that you need to maintain your health and keep your bones strong.
Exercise not only helps to strengthen muscles, but it also helps to keep your bones strong and healthy. Mild resistance puts pressure on the bones, causing them to flex and move along with your muscles. Regular exercise that involves mild resistance will actually slow down bone loss and may even encourage new bone growth if the right exercises are used. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise that uses the body’s own weight as resistance. Moving through the water involves every muscle in the body and can effectively stimulate the bones to become stronger and more resilient.
Your diet may not change as you age, but how you digest your food most certainly will. The digestive system can begin to slow down in your 40s, which means fewer digestive enzymes are produced. This makes it harder for the body to utilize the nutrients you receive before they are broken down by the harsh, acidic environment in the stomach and intestines. Maximize your digestive system’s potential by eating fresh fruits and vegetables and starting other healthy habits. Include more calcium-rich foods accompanied by a magnesium supplement to make sure your body can use what it takes in. The 2-to-1 ratio of calcium to magnesium is extremely important to sustain maximum bone strength and density.
When you go to sleep each night, your body performs several housekeeping and maintenance procedures. Damaged muscle and bone tissues are repaired. Nutrients are sent to where they are needed so they can be utilized more fully. Bones create more red and white blood cells. The increased red blood cells provide the tissues within the body with oxygen that is essential for growth and fuel. The white blood cells work with the immune system to eradicate invaders that try to destroy healthy cells. While you and your brain are quietly wandering through dreamland, your body is working overtime to maintain and strengthen the tissues and organs that allow you to function efficiently.
Always strive to be as active and positive as possible. Many don’t realize that these two concepts literally go hand in hand, especially when it comes to a strong musculoskeletal system. Exercise releases endorphins into the brain that elevate your mood and give you a positive outlook. Be active! Take a walk around the block. Dance while you clean the house. Play with your children and grandchildren. Embrace physical activity as one of your new healthy habits!
The more you move, the better you feel. Even if you experience chronic pain on a regular basis, mild exercise brings freshly oxygenated blood to the joints, which reduces inflammation and improves flexibility. The more active you become, the less pain and discomfort you will feel. Work with your doctor to find ways to exercise that will reduce your discomfort instead of adding to it.
Depression is a common side effect of chronic pain. Being more active can help you to work through your feelings of depression. The more active you become, the more endorphins are released. The changes may take time, but in the end, you will begin to notice you have a more positive outlook on life and the world around you. If you have questions on how to become more active, discuss your options with your doctor and look into the benefits of hiring a personal trainer. Create a fitness team that will help you get back on track.
Maintaining strong bones and developing healthy habits as you age is important, but it’s only part of the equation. Your musculoskeletal system is the foundation your body relies on to keep you moving. Keeping all the parts of your body healthy is essential and requires you to focus on your body as a whole. To have strong bones, you have to feed both your body and your mind. You have to turn small changes into positive habits that improve your quality of life. When you bring it all together, every part of your body benefits, and you get to enjoy life to its fullest!