ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Seven Ways To Prevent Shrinking Bones As You Age

Updated on April 5, 2019
Cheryl E Preston profile image

Cheryl was a geriatric nurse assistant, a member of a church health and nutrition ministry and writes articles on living long and healthy.

Maintain your height
Maintain your height | Source

People Really Do Shrink

Over the years, I have witnessed people who seem to shrink with age and wondered why. If you have noticed that someone who once towered over you, seems to be shorter, it's not your imagination. Numerous studies indicate that people really do lose height as they age. According to Harvard Medical School, adults begin losing bone density around the age of 40. There is also a thinning of the gel-like substance that separates each vertebra, which causes bones o dry out and become brittle. This spine deterioration is compounded by muscle loss is what causes some adults to seem hunched over. You may also have noticed adults who seem taller as they age. I had a neighbor who lived to age 95. He drove until he was 93 and was over six feet tall. This is why there should be no cause for alarm, as there are steps you can take to ensure your bones are healthy and prevent unnecessary shrinkage in your height.

Bone Health
Bone Health | Source

1. Stop smoking

Smoking does not just damage the lungs, decrease oxygen levels, and increase the risk of respiratory illness and cancer, it can also play a part in age-related decrease in height. The Office on Women's Health and the Department of Human Services recommends that those who smoke should completely quit. Cutting back is not an option as just one cigarette is too many. Smoking damages bones, and also lowers women's estrogen levels.

If you don't smoke, please don't start, and by all means, get help with stopping this habit if you find you cannot do it on your own. In addition to shrinking bones, smoking has been shown to cause Osteoporosis, which cause adults to slump over and have the hunch back appearance.

Smoking and drinking affect bone health
Smoking and drinking affect bone health | Source

2. Drink in moderation

Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages has many negative side effects and affecting your skeletal system is one of them. According to the National Institute on Health, Alcohol interferes with your body's ability to absorb calcium, but you don't have to abstain altogether. Drinking in moderation is the key and it is recommended that one drink a day should be sufficient. Any more than that puts you at risk or damage to your skeletal system and the possibility of increasing the rate at which your bones shrink.

Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium and Vitamin D | Source

3. Calcium and Vitamin D

Proper nutrition is a key component to keeping bones strong and healthy. Calcium and Vitamin D go hand in hand as a dynamic duo for optimum health. The Mayo Clinic recommends that men over age 50 need 1,000 milligrams each day of calcium, and after age 70 they should increase it to 1.200 milligrams. The National Institutes of Health says that women over age 50 need 1,200 milligrams of calcium on a daily basis to keep their bones healthy. Good sources of Calcium are kale, milk, almond, and sardines.

Vitamin D is important because it helps our bodies to absorb calcium. It is recommended that men and women obtain 600 IU of this vitamin every day, and females age 70 and older need 800 to 1000 IU daily. The National Institutes of Health says that high levels of vitamin D can be found in kale, almonds, salmon, broccoli, soy products, fortified milk, oily fish, and dairy. You can also get plenty of Vitamin D from enjoying the sunshine during the hours of 9:30-11:00 AM.

4. Exercise

The National Institutes of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Research Center released results of tests done in 1965, and again in 1995. It was conducted by Israeli researchers who measured the height of more than 2,000 men and women. Both times they found that exercise had an amazing effect. Test subjects who exercised as a life long habit as well as those who began at 40 years of age, had something in common. Their height loss was about half as much the men and women who stopped working out when they reached middle age and those who said they never exercised at all. The study found that strength training or weight-bearing exercises such as jumping and running puts stress on bones, which sends a signal or your body to strengthen the bones and results in new cells growth. This should encourage aging adults who have been sedentary to get up and get moving.

Exercise
Exercise | Source

5. Maintain good posture

Maintaining good posture goes a long way in keeping bones healthy. Make it a habit to look in mirror's or window glass as you pass by. If you catch yourself slouching, immediately straighten up. Standing and sitting straight actually strengthens the muscles that support the spine and other areas of the body. It also helps us to look taller and younger. Here are some pointers to remember.

Stand with your shoulders held back and make sure they are relaxed and not rigged. Pretend you are pulling your navel towards your lower back and gently tuck in your tummy. Balance your weight on both feet, allow your hands to naturally fall by your sides and keep your knees to be flexible. When seated, be sure both feet are flat on the floor, keep your shoulders relaxed and your back comfortable, yet straight. Hold your head up as if it is trying to reach the ceiling because this will lengthen your spine.

Posture
Posture | Source

6.Bone density

A bone density test is something to think about as we age. This examination is done by x-ray and determines the amount of calcium and other minerals in your bones. The more nutrients that are detected, the better for your skeletal system. You may be doing everything right to keep your bones strong, but still, be at risk for bone problems because of a prescription drug you are taking. This is why it is important to know the possible side effects of any medications and discuss them with your health care provider. Certain drugs can deplete minerals, and even vitamin D which is necessary or bone health.

Scripture motivation
Scripture motivation

7. Scripture meditation for motivation

There is an old saying that attitude determines altitude. No matter how old you are, remember it is never too late to begin good health practices. Proverbs 17:19-22 says: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. A good attitude will decrease stress and help you have fun along the way.

Psalms 103:1-5 tells us:

1. Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Whatever your age, these verses can bring comfort and encouragement that your good attitude will work lie medicine and that He will renew your strength like the eagles. Remember, stop or don't start smoking, drink in moderation, exercise, practice good posture and get plenty of calcium and vitamin D.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 months ago from sunny Florida

      It is important to be cognizant of the items you have shared I hope I do not become the incredible shrinking woman Not making light at all I had an Aunt who was tiny and as she aged she leaned at about a 45 degree angle from the time she was about 70 My Momma who was her sister however did not end her years that way so I guess there is hope. Taking all of the precautions I can Thank you for sharing Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

    • Cheryl E Preston profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl E Preston 

      6 months ago from Roanoke

      yes RTalloni so true.

    • profile image

      RTalloni 

      6 months ago

      Enough exercise of the right kind is continually on our to do list and it is best friends with maintaining good posture. Good tips here, and thanks so much for closing with the greatest encouragement of all. These bodies begin fading from day one. The life cycle takes us into eternity. Knowing God's Word and taking Him at His Word over rules and changes everything!

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      6 months ago from Norfolk, England

      There's some good advice here. I need to give up smoking for sure. I will definitely try!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)