May is NATIONAL OSTEOPOROSIS MONTH!
To celebrate, the National Osteoporosis Foundation has teamed up with Huff/Post50 to bring you the latest science-backed and holistic information on how to keep your bones strong at every age.
As the NOF Bone Health Ambassador, each week throughout May I'll share my best tips on working out, eating well, and everything else you need to know to stay healthy and strong for life.
Since turning 50 and embarking on a life filled with good habits -- all of which have helped me get stronger, leaner, and healthier -- I've paid close attention to the most-respected medical experts, many of whom usually focus on a specific part of the human body -- heart, skin, brain, bones and so on, and ways to keep them in tip-top shape for life. Or, those that are knowledgable about specific diseases and illnesses such as cancer or diabetes.
In my ongoing effort to age with energy and in good health, I've tried my best to incorporate as many of their recommendations into my daily life as possible. So far, so good.
But, instead of thinking in terms of habits that are just "good for my heart," only "good for my brain," or those that will lower our risk for cancer, I wanted to search for a way to simplify my path to positive aging by taking a more holistic, full-body approach.
And that's when it hit me: the real secret to being healthy, fit and strong -- inside and out, head-to-toe -- is to connect the dots. Luckily, it's easy to do because as it turns out, what's good for one part of our body, is really good for just about everywhere else!
Think about it: what are some of the best things you can eat for a healthy heart? Fatty fish, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, lots of vegetables, and a little red wine a few times a week, right?
Well, guess what? Those foods are terrific for keeping weight in check, brain cells percolating, skin supple, and bones strong, too! In fact, if you eat these healthy foods, and steer clear of those that aren't, you'll be doing one of the best things to improve your overall health and wellbeing for the long haul. For science-backed information on the foods to fuel your body, download Food4Bones, the free phone app from the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Another great example is the holistic power of moving your body.
Last week, I focused on some of the best exercises to specifically keep bones dense and strong throughout your life, but truly, those same exercises will keep ALL of you healthy and fit, and help ward off some of the most common diseases and illnesses that can occur as we get older. For example:
Want to fight or fix heart disease? Exercise.
Need to lose or maintain weight? Exercise.
Determined to keep your brain sharp? Exercise.
Aim to ax your risk factors for certain cancers? Exercise.
Keen on derailing diabetes? Exercise.
Trying to keep bone mass dense and muscles strong? Exercise.
The benefits of exercise are unparalleled. It helps you sleep better, be stronger, revs up your sex life, and can dramatically increase your chances of living a more energetic, engaged, possibly longer, life. And hey, it'll keep your complexion rosy, and help make those new jeans look better on you, too.
If you're thinking about creating a new life for yourself, as I did when I turned 50 a few years ago, instead of deconstructing your body and embracing the best tips for each part, do what I do: bring it all together and keep it simple. Here's how:
Eat good food, manage your weight, and exercise every day.
For more information on the simple steps you can take to be strong every day, visit NOF.org.
Test your knowledge about bone health and see if you know more than a millennial: