Staying Strong for Powerful Ageing – How to Protect Bone Density

When it comes to aging with strength and power, paying extra attention to your bone health, particularly bone density, is an absolute must.

While it is common for most people to associate a person’s strength with their muscles’ size, our skeletal system plays a significant role in maintaining our body’s vitality as we age.

Acting as a supportive tree for our muscles and connective tissue, staying active is one of the best ways to maintain your bone density and strength, whether you are 25 or 85!

As a natural part of aging, it is common for people to experience bone demineralization (the loss of calcium from the bones causing weakness, also commonly referred to as osteoporosis).

If not adequately treated and monitored, age-related osteoporosis can lead to various health complications, including chronic pain, postural changes, potential bone fractures, other skeletal injuries, and ultimately loss of independence.

Like other health conditions, treating osteoporosis with prevention is always better than looking for a cure — just because bone demineralization is a natural part of aging, it doesn’t mean you are powerless over its progression.

As an area of our health that we can work on, bone density can be increased by staying committed to a regular strength-based exercise schedule — and no, you don’t have to be hitting the gym to lift super heavyweights to achieve this goal! 

As a leading provider of educational resources for staying healthy with age, our team at Fit4100 created this article to discuss the importance of maintaining bone density and sharing some inspiring stories of how to age with power and strength.

It’s time to show your bone health some extra love – and we hope this article is a helpful resource in achieving your goals.

Understanding the importance of bone density and Menopause

Composed of 206 different-sized and specialized bones, the human skeleton is an essential structural support for our muscles and internal organs.

For most, the health and strength of our bones remain stable when we are aged 25-50 — but as we age, more rapid rates of demineralization and resorption begin to occur, resulting in a decrease in bone density. As a process deeply tied to changes in other female hormones, the natural decline of estrogen caused by Menopause is believed to play a role in the increased risk of osteoporosis in women over 50.

If left untreated, age-related osteoporosis will increase your risk of experiencing a host of health problems, including increasing your risk of experiencing spontaneous bone fractures and chronic pain.

To combat this, incorporating strength-based training into your daily routine can help to reinforce your bones and reduce your risk of experiencing severe complications with age.

Prevent is better than Cure – Keep Your Bones Strong.

Like any other health endeavor, long-term commitment and building sustainable habits are the best ways to stay on top of your bone health.

While we all know that starting a new healthy habit is often easier said than done, even small changes now can make a difference in maintaining your bone density as you age.

One of the most beneficial ways to increase bone density is getting active and participating in weight-bearing exercises to refortify your bones while encouraging improved mineralization.

While it is easy for our minds to jump to Olympic weightlifting as the “best” way to partake in weight-bearing exercises, there are many other more accessible options that can still have a profoundly positive impact on your bone health.

Examples of activities that increase bone density include:

  • Low-weight strength training — As an excellent option for anyone looking to improve their overall strength, resistance training using bands and dumbells effectively supports improved bone density. For beginners, starting slow with minimal weight (2 or 5 lbs weight) is the best way to prevent injury while still getting the weight-bearing benefits of the exercises.
  • Low-impact aerobic exercises — If going to the gym is not your style, aerobic exercises like walking, dancing, and gardening are great options for maintaining your bone health. These activities can easily be enjoyed alone or with others, making working out fun and social!
  • Flexibility training — Essential for preventing injuries, stretching your muscles before and after exercise can also help reduce the stress on your skeletal system. Additionally, group exercises such as yoga and tai chi can also offer bone-strengthening benefits while encouraging improved flexibility.
  • Stability and balance exercises — Falling due to poor balance is one of the primary reasons people break bones as they age. Improving your balance through regular stability exercises can help to reduce your risk of becoming injured due to poor coordination. Pilates for Seniors is an excellent activity for all ages and can be integrated as a daily practice.

Get inspired to stay Strong, Active, and Independent.

If you are looking for some motivation and inspiration to get active, look no further than the story of Edna – Australia’s 100-year-old fitness fanatic

Averaging five fitness classes a week, including tai chi, freestyle aerobics, and weight circuit classes, Edna is keeping active, supporting her bone health, and having fun doing it!

Able to do full-body push-ups and keep up with her peers (who can be up to 70-years younger than her) when lifting weights, Edna is a prime example of aging with power and strength.

Through her commitment to her overall health and wellness, Edna has done a fantastic job looking after her bone health as she ages — and she is an inspiration to many! As a member of her local gym for over 40 years, Edna started taking more regular fitness classes with her husband after he retired to give them something to do. By doing so, Edna built a sustainable healthy habit that has helped keep her entire body healthy and strong.

Learn more about healthy aging with Fit4100

As we age, our bodies go through a series of natural changes — some of which we have more control over than others.

When it comes to maintaining your bone density, being proactive and preventative is always the best option.

With this in mind, building a sustainable habit of participating in regular bone-supporting exercises is a must for women of any age — because what you do now will benefit you later!

At Fit4100, we are proud to offer a wide variety of high-quality and accessible resources created to educate women about everything related to aging. Whether you are looking to learn about menopause symptoms and management or want to improve your bone density, we have easy-to-read articles perfect for you to share with your loved ones.

Explore our entire collection of articles on our website blog today to learn more about how you can age with power!

The Five Best Foods for Joint Pain

Proteolytic enzymes for knee pain

These readily-available foods are the natural secret to combatting debilitating joint conditions like knee pain and hip pain.

Pain is one of the most difficult side effects of arthritis – it can stop you from living to your full potential and it can be frustratingly difficult to treat.

Whether your joint pain is connected to rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, studies show a link between the severe discomfort associated with the condition and chronic inflammation. While acute inflammation is a naturally occurring immune response that helps protect the body from infection, injury, and disease, chronic and ongoing inflammation causes more harm than good.

Medicines can help with pain and chronic inflammation, but many medical practitioners are increasingly recommending lifestyle changes like eating differently as an effective method to reduce joint pain without unhelpful side effects.

These are five foods proven to fight inflammation and reduce joint pain.

#1 – Papaya and Pineapple

Fresh papaya and pineapple contain high levels of proteolytic enzymes. A 2008 study on proteolytic enzymes showed they could be more effective in reducing inflammation than aspirin. Another study on bromelain – a specific proteolytic enzyme found in pineapple – proved that it reduced pain in people with osteoarthritis.

While pineapple and papaya are particularly abundant sources of proteolytic enzymes, other foods like kiwifruit, ginger, sauerkraut, and kimchi also contain high levels of this joint pain fighter.

#2 – Fish and nuts

Salmon, tuna, sardines, and nuts are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Studies measuring the effects of Omega-3 have shown it to be effective in lowering inflammation and reducing joint pain, including stiffness, swelling, and tenderness. Salmon, tuna, and sardines aren’t the only fish high in Omega-3 – mackerel and herring are also good sources, but for those who don’t like fish or nuts, supplements are available instead.

#3 – Olive oil

Olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthanl, which is naturally occurring but has many of the same health benefits as anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen. A paper summarising the benefits of oleocanthal reported that it is effective in tackling degenerative joint diseases like arthritis. Some experts hypothesise that the anti-inflammatory properties of oleocanthal is one reason the Mediterranean Diet – which includes lots of olive oil – is so effective.  

#4 – Leafy Greens

Green vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage are packed full of an antioxidant called sulforaphane. In 2018, a study considering sulforaphane’s effect on rheumatoid arthritis found it was an effective alternative treatment and research in 2017 showed sulforaphane could improve mobility for people with osteoarthritis. To add more sulforaphane to your everyday diet, try eating more of the vegetables mentioned above as well as adding produce like kale and cauliflower to meals.

#5 – Berries

Like leafy greens, fruits including blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are rich in antioxidants that can help fight knee pain, hip pain, and other joint pain. These berries also contain anthocyanins – another compound that has been shown to reduce inflammation – meaning they pack a double punch when it comes to providing nutritional support for arthritis.

It’s Time to Do The Bucket List

Bucket List Examples

Stop waiting until tomorrow. Start ticking off your bucket list items today and discover how achievements and goals-oriented thinking can make your life more exciting and also longer, happier, and healthier.

No matter what life stage you’re at, a bucket list can feel abstract.

It’s easy to think of the compilation of your most exciting goals as something for the distant future, rather than something to work toward in the present. But tackling your life bucket list now can result in a surprising array of health benefits that, in turn, could gift you extra years in which to do even more extraordinary things.

Here’s Fit4100’s top three reasons to stop procrastinating and start crossing things off your ‘My Bucket List’ spreadsheet today.

Bucket List Ideas

#1 – The spin-off benefits of bucket list motivation

Whether your bucket list is highly physical and filled with plans to climb Mt Kilimanjaro and jump from a plane, or errs more toward intellectual achievements like launching a business and reaching Grandmaster status in chess, you need to be on top of your game to fulfil your goals.

Making a commitment to ticking off your bucket list items in a set time frame will provide you with the boost you need to make a variety of better health choices.

Suddenly, you’ll have a concrete and specific reason to do your daily mindfulness practice, eat better, or stay more active.

With a bucket list goal on the horizon, being motivated to make positive change becomes easy instead of arduous.

#2 – Bucket list health and longevity benefits

Research shows that being active and engaged has wide-reaching health benefits. Common bucket list examples, like travel and fitness goals, are also opportunities for the kind of engagement that leads to better health and longevity.

In 2019, a study published in PNAS specifically linked the psychological attribute of optimism to living a longer life, with the authors stating that optimism is related to an “11 to 15% longer life span, on average, and to greater odds of… living to the age of 85 or beyond”.

Optimism is related to an “11 to 15% longer life span, on average, and to greater odds of… living to the age of 85 or beyond”.

Achieving long-term goals like those found on your bucket list is an ideal way to foster these longevity-inducing positive feelings.

Research also shows people learning new skills, staying active, and socially engaged have better health outcomes.

In 2017, a study of older adults learning to use tablet devices found that the  development of new skills – like those you might learn in service of a bucket list goal – has “the potential to reduce or delay cognitive changes associated with ageing”.

Should I have a Bucket List?

 #3 – Create the bucket list virtuous cycle

It might be that you and a friend or partner work through a couple bucket list together, or that your individual life bucket list has been something you’ve developed since you were a child.

No matter the contents or set-up of your bucket list, achieving some of its goals will help you learn more about yourself and what you really want from life.

Armed with this personal information about yourself, you can set new, even more relevant goals and begin to create a virtuous bucket list cycle.

Eventually, every achievement will lead you to discovering a new and exciting goal – supplying you with an endless stream of optimism, motivation, and engagement that will keep you happy and healthy in mind, body and soul.  

How to Stay Young

Stay Young and Love Life

Forget the mythical fountain of youth. Science has brought us three reliable answers to the often-asked question: ‘How do you stay young?’.

The importance of staying young

The motivation to slow the process of aging – to keep healthy, active, and happy even as decades pass – is different for everyone.

One person may want to stay youthful so they can travel to unexplored places in their retirement, while another might want to stay younger longer so they can continue to live independently in a wild and beautiful, yet remote, home.

Underlying all the myriad personal reasons for staying young there is usually a single driving factor – quality of life. Most of us want to continue feeling, looking, and acting young so we can experience life at its best.

Remaining youthful is everybody’s passport to a life that fulfils its boldest potential.

As well as warding off diseases of aging that can make the world feel like its shrinking, keeping your body young means there is more time to reach out and embrace opportunity.

More years and better health can create the space for new dreams and goals – from playing with grandchildren and great-grandchildren, to winning a Nobel Prize at 85-years-old, or even water-skiing on your 100th birthday.

How to stay young naturally

Contemporary health and medical researchers are constantly identifying new methods that might help you to stay young-looking or help keep your body and brain active longer.

From among the multitudes of advice and information, there are three natural and achievable changes that are reliably cited as among the most effective ways to remain younger longer.

           #1 – Nutrition.

Eating better – whether that be through the Mediterranean Diet, intermittent fasting, or by restricting calories – has a profound anti-aging effect. Changing the food you eat can protect you from life-shortening conditions like diabetes and heart disease, while also improving energy levels and mental health.   

           #2 – Exercise.

Getting active has been shown to have more positive health benefits than any other single intervention. Exercise can help keep your body young by reducing the effects of conditions like arthritis, guarding against fractures, improving chronic pain, and maximising quality of life by tackling depression and anxiety.   

           #3 – Mindfulness.

When practiced routinely, mindfulness has a proven effect on a range of health conditions that can significantly reduce lifespan – including mental health, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke – and it can help solve complex and multi-layered lifestyle problems like insomnia.

Practical advice to keep your body young (and your mind too!)

Fit4100’s articles bring you up-to-date breakthroughs, tips, and information on how to stay youthful. 

Explore the archive to find ideas that work for you, or try one of these easy suggestions to get started:

  • Add a new daily exercise to your routine. This could be a simple 30 minutes of walking, or something a little more adventurous like Pilates.
  • Experiment with introducing the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet to your day by extending your regular food-free window by two hours. This might mean that if you usually eat between the hours of 7am and 9pm, you don’t begin eating until 9am instead.