5 Tips to Help Aging Adults Strengthen Their Bones & Muscles

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Bones and muscles gradually become weaker as an individual grows older, but seniors should do everything in their power to delay the deterioration. A wide variety of dietary changes and exercise routines can help the elderly prevent issues such as fractures, osteoporosis, limited mobility, and general discomfort. Here are five tips seniors can use to strengthen their muscles and bones. 

 

1. Engage in Resistance Training

Sticking to a good resistance training routine is one of the most effective ways for seniors to grow stronger. Some of the best exercise options for seniors include hiking, swimming, and riding a stationary bicycle. While these options are great for burning calories, they don’t engage all of the major muscle groups. A comprehensive workout routine that includes weights or resistance bands strengthens every muscle and bone in the body. 

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Reston, VA, Assisting Hands Home Care are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

 

2. Follow a Nutritious Diet

No matter how many times a week seniors work out, they’re unlikely to grow any stronger unless they’re eating healthy foods. Nutritionists suggest older adults should focus on a few key food groups, including healthy oils, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. Those who have recently started new exercise routines also need to increase their daily caloric intake to account for all the extra calories they are burning. A general practitioner or registered dietitian can help your aging loved one come up with a proper meal plan.

 

3. Take Supplements

Even seniors who stick to a strict diet might occasionally have deficiencies that weaken their bones and muscles. Luckily, taking a few high-quality supplements can reduce the risk of a serious vitamin or mineral deficiency. Most multivitamins made for seniors contain large doses of calcium, potassium, fiber, and vitamins B and C. Some of these supplements can be difficult to digest, and your loved one might need to experiment with a few different brands before finding the right product.

 

4. Get Plenty of Sunlight

Calcium is the building block of healthy bones, and this nutrient can’t be absorbed without vitamin D. There’s still quite a bit of research to be done on the subject, but many doctors believe standing in the sun is one of the best ways to get vitamin D. 

Going for a walk, gardening, or reading outside for 10 or 15 minutes every day can trigger the production of vitamin D and strengthen the bones. Seniors who have a family history of skin cancer should speak with a doctor before spending long periods out in the sun. 

Going outdoors to get some sunlight and fresh air is one of the many ways older adults can boost their health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

 

5. Avoid Soft Drinks

Soft drinks rarely contain anything more than processed sugar, dyes, and other unnecessary additives. In addition to increasing the risk of diabetes, these sugar-laden drinks can also pull calcium out of the bones. 

Older adults should avoid foods and beverages that contain phosphoric acid because it increases the blood’s acidity levels, weakens the bones, and damages blood vessels. Seniors also need to be wary of drinking too much caffeine throughout the day because it impairs the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Caring for a loved one can be a difficult task, especially if he or she has preexisting health issues such as weak and brittle bones. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Reston families can trust. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. Call one of our friendly Care Specialists today to learn more about our customized care plans.