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It’s common knowledge that mothers have a tendency to put other people’s welfare before their own. However, it is important that mums understand that their own health is just as important – a mum who is fit and healthy can care for and enjoy her family even better.

And this is especially important when it comes to bone health. When you think about your children’s health and setting a good example, do you usually think about your bones?

Strong bones are essential for movement and vitality at all ages – from adolescents building the best possible bone mass during their youth and early adulthood, to active mothers juggling families, exercise and work. Hence, bone health is an important health issue for women of all ages.

It is even more critical during menopause and after, because hormonal changes can result in osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue and structural deterioration over time. For women, the risk of developing the disease accelerates after the menopause due to hormonal changes.

However, all the important preventive measures have to be done long before menopause, in order to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. That time, for you, is now.

Your pre-nopause

Building healthy bones at a younger age will help prevent bone related diseases, such as osteoporosis, in later life. Bone mass usually peaks towards the late twenties, which is why leading by example and encouraging your children to adopt a healthy attitude to diet and lifestyle is important. What better way is there to do this than by mothers and daughters working together to encourage each other to eat healthily and take regular exercise?

You are what you eat

A healthy balanced diet which includes the correct amount of calcium and vitamin D combined with weight bearing exercises can notably reduce the risk of bone loss. This is especially pertinent in Asia where, according to a recent International Osteoporosis Foundation report, the average dietary calcium intake for adults in Asia was 450 mg/day, well below the FAO/WHO recommended calcium intake of 1000-1300 mg/day.

There are many interesting and fun ways that mothers and daughters can keep their bones healthy, together.

Many rich food sources of calcium are available, such as dairy products including milk, cheese, yogurt, green leafy vegetables such as kale and broccoli, and canned fish (with soft edible bone) such as sardines that fit nicely into anyone’s diet regardless of age.

Getting into the kitchen together and having fun making a tasty but nutritious meal is the perfect way to improve diet and bone health whilst having fun at the same time.

Or simply sit down together to enjoy a glass of nutrient rich milk - either warm or cold. This can be a relaxing way to effortlessly nourish your bones. High calcium milk is a great choice for this, as it is fortified with essential nutrients vital for strong bones and is an extremely convenient and effective way for you and your loved ones to ensure they are fulfilling their calcium needs on a daily basis.

Get moving
Exercise is also a great way to improve bone health and doesn’t have to be a chore. Taking a dance class together, going for a walk or playing a game of tennis or badminton are all ways women can improve their bone health whilst spending quality mother and daughter time together.

Healthy bones can be a part of everyday life for all generations. Osteoporosis does not have to be inevitable; by taking the correct measures early and looking after your wellbeing, Mothers and Grandmothers can enjoy a healthy, active life with their children and grandchildren.

As well as setting a good example for daughters, you can also encourage your mother to look after her bone health. Postmenopausal women are particularly vulnerable to osteoporosis as hormonal changes can cause high bone turnover and accelerated bone loss.

And that’s how, by working together, women can encourage each other to put themselves first and look after their health – by loving each other’s bones.LW


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