Whether it be at 40 or 70, our bones usually always lose strength as we get older. Although it may be common for our knees, hips, hands and necks to start feeling stiff, there are several ways in which one can slow down bone loss and even reverse some of the aches and pains caused by ageing bones.
Keep Active Whilst in Residential Care
Whilst our energy levels tend to drop after retirement, the benefits of staying active are plentiful and can do wonders for stiff and painful joints. Often as our bones become less forgiving we will lose a bit of the motivation needed to exercise and stay active, however even a short walk around the care home every day can do wonders for flexibility and soothing the rigidness of tired muscles and joints.
The best types of exercise for those looking to strengthen their bones are cardio or light weight building exercises, which can be as low impact as walking, climbing stairs and dancing. Whilst doing something is always better than nothing, it is recommended that for those over 65 aiming to keep their bones in the best shape they can, should aim for around 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. This can be split into around 20 minutes a day and besides potentially saving your bones, it can also prevent muscle, heart and mental deterioration.
Another reason staying active is important for your bones is because it is the opposite of remaining stationary! Luckily, Barchester’s residential care homes offer ‘Exercise and Movement’ as one of their activities, meaning you don’t have to spend all day sitting around – which for longer than 30 minutes can reduce the strength of your muscles as well as making your joints begin to feel hardened and firm. Try and make sure you get up once every 30 minutes for a quick stroll!
Diet and nutrition
Exercise isn’t the only way to keep your bones in check! The importance of a balanced diet is crucial in trying to keep your limbs as flexible as possible. Staying active goes hand in hand with maintaining a balanced diet – you may start to lose your appetite a little as you reach your 60s, but exercise can bring it right back up! Barchester offers a varied diet that incorporates all the nutrients needed, however there are some you should focus on when trying to eat for healthy bones as you reach your 60s. Everyone remembers being told calcium is good for your bones as a growing child, but Vitamin D is just as important in regulating and helping to absorb it into your bones. Our bodies take Vitamin D from the sun (another reason to stay active and get outside) as well as in foods such as oily fish, eggs, fat spreads and some fortified breakfast cereals. If you’ve felt a decline in your bone strength recently then it’s probably time to consider a supplement, particularly during the winter months, in which you are less likely to get the sunlight required for efficient vitamin D levels.
Whilst these may be the more some of the more obvious ways in which you can keep your bones in check, there are other tips and tricks that can assist in the maintenance of a healthy frame. One of these that doctors often point to is looking after your feet. Painful feet can cause a decline in activity which is the quickest way to get stiff bones. It’s worth booking an appointment with the doctor or chiropodist if you’re unable to be active due to the condition of your feet. Another way in which you can cause massive decline to your bones is by fracturing them, which can be avoided by getting your eyesight checked before a nasty fall. A coffee in the morning can help us get out of our chair, but caffeine has been linked with bone decline, as well as alcohol, so don’t overdo it!
If you want to ensure your parents or grandparents are getting the most out of their later years, make sure to check out our care homes near you. We have homes across the UK and offer support for those who need assisted living, as well as providing accommodation and care services for people with dementia. Contact us for more advice on finding the ideal care home.