According to Osteoporosis Australia, over 1.2 million Australians have osteoporosis.
A further 6.3 million have osteopenia, or low bone density, which increases risk of the disease in the future.
It’s a condition that can affect anyone at any age, but is also highly preventable through a few key healthy lifestyle measures.
Making the right choices now – both for yourself and as a mother, for your children, will mean you and your family can enjoy healthy bones for years to come. This is why, as a Healthy Bones Ambassador, we are screaming out to all Australians to think about their bone health this October.
For your little ones
It’s important that young children are exposed to a healthy diet to build and maintain strong bones.
Incorporating foods such as milk, cheese, yoghurt and broccoli that are high in calcium into meals will get them used to eating these foods and developing good eating habits.
Try to get your little ones from in front of the television and outside and being active. Running, jumping and skipping are not only fun but also great for developing strong bones. Getting kids engaged in an outside sport such as soccer or netball is also a great way to promote healthy bones.
For your teenagers
People who are physically active tend to have a higher bone mineral density, which means healthier bones.
As your children grow up, it’s important they keep active and incorporate regular exercise routines into their week to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.
High impact, weight bearing exercises are best for bones, so it’s a great time to be playing sports such as soccer, hockey, tennis, netball and football. These are great for teens to improve mobility and also increase bone density by 2-8% per year. If they play sports outdoors, there’s the added bonus of regular, safe, sunshine exposure as well.
During adulthood, healthy bones become important in leading a fit and active life that’ll take you from your peak working years into retirement.
Bones can also slowly start to lose their density in one’s early thirties, so your lifestyle choices carry heavier weight. While work and family commitments make life extremely busy, it’s important to still get outside for at least 5-10 minutes of sunshine a day and to exercise regularly.
Pay extra attention to your diet and make a conscious effort to consume foods high in calcium.