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Boost your bone health

Wednesday, 7th August, 2013

Dietitian Tracy Herlihy (left) with physiotherapist Jared Reyes and nutritional assistant Stacey Evers are promoting Healthy Bones week. Dietitian Tracy Herlihy (left) with physiotherapist Jared Reyes and nutritional assistant Stacey Evers are promoting Healthy Bones week.

Eight out of 10 Australians aren’t getting enough calcium, according to a local dietitian.

The Far West Local Health District, as part of National Healthy Bones Week, is now urging people of all ages to look after their bones.

Dietitian with the hospital, Tracy Herlihy, said there were three things everyone can do to keep their bones strong.

“Eat at least three serves of calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt or cheese every day, do regular weight-bearing exercise like walking, running or resistance training, and get enough sun to keep Vitamin D levels adequate,” she said.

“Vitamin D is not something we can get adequate amounts of from our diet. Our body makes it through skin exposure to sun. It is getting more common to have a Vitamin D deficiency as people don’t get out in the sun as much and when they do they are covering up their skin to avoid skin cancer,” she said.

The only way you will know if you are low in Vitamin D is to get a blood test ordered by your doctor. 

Weight-bearing exercise helps keep the calcium in your bones to create a strong structure. A 30-minute walk most days will ensure you are strengthening your bones and getting fitter, Ms Herlihy said.

Ms Herlihy said people often worry about dairy being “fattening” but they can take the low fat options.

In Australia, osteoporosis (weakening of the bones) affects around 1.2 million people.

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